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Writing the Next Chapter of South Dakota’s Startup Ecosystem

Over the past few years, it has become apparent that Sioux Falls needs to rethink how it serves startup businesses if we are to be successful as a state that fosters entrepreneurship. The legacy model of business incubation in a dedicated startup facility simply will not work in an era marked by remote work, ubiquitous …

Two-Way SMS is the Next Big Marketing Channel

Over the last fifteen years of running online businesses, I have had the opportunity to test and leverage many different marketing channels, including email, browser notifications, Twitter accounts, Facebook messenger bots, Instagram accounts, YouTube channels, and a few others. Just about every year, some new social media company comes out and encourages businesses and influencers …

How MarketBeat Went 13 Years with No Employee Turnover

One of the things about MarketBeat that I am most proud of is that we have never had any employee turnover in the company’s 13-year history of incorporation. We have only ever hired 12 people over the last decade, but we never had anyone quit or otherwise leave the company until last week. Our first …

How to Find and Pitch Investors for Your Startup

Raising money for a small business or startup is perhaps easier now than it ever has been. There’s still a significant learning curve when it comes to identifying potential angel investors, getting a meeting with them and pitching your startup. Nick Horob from Harvest Profit and I recently did a webinar for Startup Sioux Falls …

The Future of Seed-Stage Startup Capital in the Dakota’s

During our last Falls Angel Fund meeting, we heard investment pitches from three high-growth startup companies that are based in the Dakota’s. One company was a software and services business that we had invested in an earlier round. One was a new software company seeking capital for the first time. The third was an early-stage …

How to Spot a Fake Business Growth Guru

Every now and then I receive a text, an email or a Facebook message asking me, “Hey, what do you think of [Person], that marketing and business guru that’s all over Facebook/YouTube/Instagram?” It can be difficult to determine if any given business expert or marketing guru is the real deal merely by looking at their …

Sioux Falls to Celebrate Entrepreneurship Day on March 3, 2021

Beginning this year, Sioux Falls will celebrate Entrepreneurship Day on the first Wednesday of March. For the 2021 celebration taking place on March 3, the general public is invited to join the festivities by participating in a host of events organized by the teams at the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship (Zeal) and Startup Sioux Falls.  …

The Biggest Mistake You Can Make with Your Email Sign-Up Forms

You are a savvy business owner. Maybe you listen to marketing podcasts and have read some popular business books. You understand that one of your business’s most valuable assets is its customer and prospect lists. You put an email sign-up form on your website to build your audience, perhaps incentivized by a discount coupon, a …