Organization Focus

Organization Focus: South Dakota Development Corporation

Created in 1983, the South Dakota Development Corporation (SDDC) exists to support businesses in the pursuit of low interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 program. The 504 program provides fixed asset financing to cover hard costs such as land, buildings, or equipment. Because fixed assets act as collateral, 504 loans are…

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Organization Focus: Bird Dog Equity Partners

Founded by Paul Schock and Chad Hatch, Bird Dog Equity Partners is a later-stage private equity firm with a focus on the hospitality industry. While the firm has enjoyed a variety of successful investments since its founding in 2010, it’s an enduring mantra of “People First, Business Second,” that makes Bird Dog truly stand out…

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Organization Focus: USD GEAR Center

Home to the University of South Dakota’s graduate program in biomedical engineering, the Graduate Education and Applied Research (GEAR) Center provides students and startups with a state-of-the-art facility for research and collaboration. The university’s biomedical engineering program began in 2006, and it moved into the GEAR Center facility within the USD Discovery District in 2009.…

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Organization Focus: South Dakota Innovation Partners

Ten years ago, a group of civic entrepreneurs set out to create an early-stage venture capital firm with a focus on commercializing research. Today, they have built an experienced firm with a track record of transforming ideas into successful industrial complexes. The idea for the firm came from former South Dakota State University president, David…

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Organization Focus: Falls Fintech

The state’s first fintech accelerator will kick off its inaugural 10-week program in March 2020, welcoming a cohort of five early-stage businesses to Sioux Falls.  Falls Fintech was formed in 2019 as a subsidiary of Central Payments, the payments division of Central Bank of Kansas City. Based in Dell Rapids, Central Payments administers payment cards…

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Organization Focus: Catholic Men’s Business Fraternity

In 2012, after a decade of teaching theology at O’Gorman High School, Joe Rutten decided it was time to pursue his idea of forming a men’s group centered on faith and business. Seven years later, the Catholic Men’s Business Fraternity (CMBF) is an active, multifaceted organization serving men in Sioux Falls and the surrounding communities.…

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Organization Focus: Bluestem Capital

When Steve Kirby formed his private equity firm, Bluestem Capital, back in 1996, one aspect of the business was crucial—the people. “You can’t do a good deal with bad people, and you can’t do a bad deal with good people,” Kirby said. “It’s the same criteria we have today.” While their commitment to working with…

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Organization Focus: Falls Angel Fund

Back in July 2016, the first iteration of Falls Angel Fund launched after several years of planning, recruitment, and fundraising. Now, in 2019, the second fund is underway and is already inviting pitches. The first fund came to life as a joint effort between the South Dakota Enterprise Institute and local investors, John Henkhaus, Steve…

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Organization Focus: Prairie Family Business Association

When it comes to running a business, every owner faces a unique set of challenges. For family-run businesses, those challenges can hit closer to home. Working with loved ones and creating a family-oriented culture is rewarding, but it can also cause unexpected tensions and communication issues. Prairie Family Business Association (PFBA) exists to mitigate these…

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Organization Focus: Expansion Capital Group

In a world of instant gratification, nearly anything an individual wants or needs can be acquired at the click of a button. As a business owner, you can purchase a new laptop, branded merchandise, or critical production equipment online, and it will be delivered to your door the next day.   However, one thing that hasn’t…

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