When I travel and tell people that I live in South Dakota, the first thing they want to talk to me about was their trip to Mt Rushmore at some point in their life. I usually smile and listen not wanting to let them know that I live 5 hours from Mt Rushmore and have never actually been there myself (on the list for next year). Very rarely do I hear the word “innovation” used in the same sentence as South Dakota.
This week I had the opportunity to attend two events that highlight the growth of innovation in South Dakota. The first was the IN After Hours event hosted by the South Dakota Technology Business Center. The SDTBC provides a home to entrepreneurs and small business giving access to resources required to grow. The networking event is an informal way to connect with various resources in the Sioux Falls region – I have attended several of these events and have developed some great relationships.
The second event was the Wire Me Awake event in Yankton which was started by a group of entrepreneurs in the Yankton area. The focus of the event was to show that our area is a breeding ground for innovation. The speakers included the Bozell team, Dan Hall from Gun Up, and Emma Peterson from Tikly amongst others. The conference did a great job of highlighting the harsh reality of start-ups and the skills needed to succeed as an entrepreneur while providing a forum to meet innovation leaders in this area.
I’m inspired by the talent in this region. We have the right blend of start-ups, small and mid-range businesses to go with the finance and leadership resources. The mentality of the region is to reach out and be involved with the community which only helps the development of innovation. As a B2B CFO® partner, I’m proud to do my part in fostering innovation and providing the skills necessary to maximize profits and cash flow to invest further in the region.