Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Forward Sioux Falls is fostering a culture of entrepreneurship through efforts of the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship, an incubation and entrepreneurship program that has helped create 728 jobs paying average annual salaries exceeding $69,000. Through programs like the Accelerator Challenge, which helped 26 companies launch during the current program, and support for events like Innovation Expo, entrepreneurs are able to make connections with their peers and potential investors.

The Forward Sioux Falls 2021 program will establish additional investment funds and programs to help dreamers turn their passion into business reality.

Start-Up & Early-Stage Capital

Angel Fund investments supporting two new Sioux Falls angel funds investing in up to 20 regional companies

South Dakota Technology Business Center (SDTBC) Micro Loan/Investment Fund assisting up to 20 early-stage companies

Culture of Entrepreneurship

Annual Business Accelerator Challenge helping launch up to 50 new companies

Innovation Expo/Entrepreneurship Education: Annual sponsorship of Innovation Expo, the region´s largest entrepreneurship event held annually in Sioux Falls, targeting 500 participants per event

Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship

Expand Zeal Center services to satellite locations, including the USD Discovery District

Modernize the main Zeal Center location to better serve today´s entrepreneur

  • 2021 OUTCOMES

  • • Launch up to 10 new business annually through accelerator challenge

  • • Up to 20 regional companies securing angel investments

  • • Up to 20 companies securing micro loans

  • • 250 new jobs created


  • • One-to-one match for Accelerator and Micro Loan funds