Entrepreneurs need many resources to start and grow their businesses. As a client of the South Dakota Technology Business Center you are positioned to access to many helpful resources. The SDTBC has connections to many local profesionals and business people who are willing to assist start-up companies in advisory roles. We also have many organizations housed in our facility that assist entrepreneurs and nascent companies.
Client companies will be provided materials and information about the programs offered by our partner organizations such as SBA, SBDC, PTAC, GOED, Office of Commercialization, SBIR, SCORE, Enterprise Institute, the SDTBC Executive Director, the SDTBC Client Services Manager and others. The Client Services Manager will make introductions to each of these organizations and serve as a coordinator to help tenants learn who can help them in what areas.
I.N. the Know Series
Through the I.N. the Know Series, the SDTBC connects clients with professional resources at the Technology Business Center. The format and topics of these entrepreneur-focused educational opportunities will vary and be based on the needs of current SDTBC clients. These sessions will provide timely information in concise formats that appeal to busy entrepreneurs. Typical topics include basic business law, preparing to present to angel investors and venture capitalists, human resources tips and techniques, project management training and IT solutions for small businesses. The format also varies but is often lunchtime lectures, panel discussions or half-day workshops. These events are open to the public and SDTBC clients receive discounted rates to participate.
Business Advisory Teams
Clients are provided the opportunity to establish a Business Advisory Team and/or work with individual mentors assigned to them from the SDTBC Advisory Board. As client companies progress toward graduation they will be encouraged to transition to a Board of Directors. Regular meetings of Business Advisory Teams or a Board of Directors are encouraged to provide client companies regular input to their business development and progress.
Friday Afternoon Club for CEO’s
Friday Afternoon Club takes place quarterly and is an informal gathering to share ideas, conversation and discussion related to current business issues. Client CEO’s and their managemnet team are encouraged to join the discussion and meet others in the SDTBC in house network.
SDTBC invites client company CEO’s and Executive Directors to participate in our monthly round table discussions. The Leadership Circle is by invitation only for clients and gives them the opportunity to connect with peers on a personal and business level to discuss the daily challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurial leaders. Discussions include current events with a focus on developing leadership skills within a moral and ethical context.
The Client Services Manager will assist client firms with their assessment to help determine the required mix for financing and investment and to help them identify the appropriate timing for their company to seek equity funding.
SDTBC also helps clients establish contacts for governmental financing options, typically guaranteed or low cost loans (SBA, GOED etc.), and with other agencies such as SBIR for grant funding. We will work with banks for debt financing and other groups that assist with or provide equity funds such as South Dakota angel funds, Enterprise Angels, South Dakota Innovation Partners, PrairieGold Venture Partners, McGowan Capital Group and Bluestem Capital.
The I.N. the Know Series will include topical training to help clients prepare for presentations to equity funding organizations. These may include educational sessions to make clients aware of the role of equity funding, evaluation of business plans, writing or rewriting their Executive Summary, and practice presentations to mock investor groups and peers within the Technology Business Center.
Facilitate Use of Internship Programs
The Client Services Manager will also coordinate client access to the Forward Sioux Falls Interns in Industry Program and the State of South Dakota year-round internship program, Dakota Seeds. We also work with local colleges and universities to provide students opportunites to work with SDTBC companies through classroom based real life projects that SDTBC clients propose.
The SDTBC Client Service Program recognizes that our tenants will experience personal and professional growth opportunities beyond the programming that we coordinate and provide. We encourage clients to be lifelong learners and seek additional help and business assistance; some of those opportunities are as follows:
Clients may need to seek out assistance with their business plan development. They may also benefit from an insurance assessment and review, banking assessment and review and/or consultation with a CPA or attorney.
Personal and Professional Development
Clients are encouraged to participate in other personal and professional development through partner organizations or other independent sources for their professional and personal growth.