Tech Center has strong economic impact
The South Dakota Technology Business Center’s economic impact data shows both employment and sales numbers grew significantly for its clients and graduates at the end of 2012. In 2012 the number of clients and graduate employees increased from 443 to 581.5 FTE’s, a gain of 138.5. These same companies had a combined annual payroll of more than $33.49 million.
“2012 was a great year for SDTBC client and graduate companies,” said SDTBC Executive Director Rich Naser. “This is the biggest employee increase in our nine years of tracking this data. I think these numbers reflect the strength of the Sioux Falls economy and the improvement in the broader U.S. economy.”
The Center, started and supported by Forward Sioux Falls, gathers economic impact data annually to determine if it is fulfilling its purpose – to foster entrepreneurship and create high‐wage, high‐skill career opportunities in the Sioux Falls area.
The only number that decreased for SDTBC clients and graduates was the average annual salary, which came in at $57,599 which is significantly higher than the 2012 Sioux Falls average annual salary of $41,010.
The combined annual sales for the same companies also showed a significant increase rising from $130.7 million in 2011 to more than $161.7 million.
“This again, is a significant increase over the 2011 numbers, when combined annual sales increased by $8 million,” Naser said.
The SDTBC also tracks equity investment and patents secured. The total equity investments from 2004‐12 was just under $52 million and total patents held by these same companies jumped from 11 to 17.
“The Technology Business Center’s role in helping entrepreneurs launch and grow in Sioux Falls is evolving," Naser said. “We continue to adapt our programs and services to meet the needs of our clients. From our Accelerator program to matching companies with capital, we are now more involved than ever with helping our clients achieve success.”