South Dakota Technology Business Center

Schwan: The year of the entrepreneur

I almost went with a Time magazine-style approach to one of my picks for six businesses and individuals to watch in 2016, the subject of our most recent Sioux Falls Business Journal cover story.

Since 1927, Time has chosen a person of the year and featured the subject on its cover. But some years, the magazine takes a bit broader angle. One year it went with “the computer.” Another year the winner was “endangered Earth.” In 2011, it was “the protestor.”

In that spirit, I nearly chose “entrepreneurs” as my final “person to watch” this year. But then I decided the choice really deserved more explanation than I would have had room to print.

For the past several years, but particularly within the past 12 to 18 months, I have noticed a surge in startup businesses.

My sense was backed up last year by a study for Forward Sioux Falls that ranked Sioux Falls first among 10 strong regional communities for growth of startups in the past five years.

“It just feels like there’s a really growing, vibrant entrepreneurial community here in Sioux Falls,” said Rich Naser, who leads both the South Dakota Technology Business Center and the University of South Dakota Discovery District research park. “It’s exciting, and it’s only good for our community and good for our state.”

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