South Dakota Offers Programs for Entrepreneurs
South Dakota often leads the rankings when it comes to being a top-notch place to do business. And it’s easy to see why – we have a strong business climate, supportive government leaders, and low taxes. Our approach to government supports entrepreneurs and ensures businesses keep more of the profit they make, and our regulations are reasonable, not burdensome.
While all these things are great for any businesses, they are especially important to entrepreneurs.
However, South Dakota’s support for entrepreneurship goes back much further than that. For years, the state has partnered with the private sector to foster entrepreneurial growth. Here are some examples:
South Dakota Giant Vision Business Competition:
Since 2005, the Governor’s Office has worked with the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce of Industry to sponsor the Governor’s Giant Vision Business Plan Competition. College and high school students also compete in the student competition, and several of them have successfully launched and are running companies that manufacture agricultural equipment, develop software and operate microbreweries. This year’s competition will be held April 26 in Sioux Falls. For more information, visit www.southdakotagiantvision.com
Proof of Concept:
In 2013, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development developed a Proof of Concept program to help entrepreneurs and university researchers to test and demonstrate the viability of a business idea. The program will provide a $25,000 loan for eligible applicants to conduct research demonstrating the technical and economic feasibility of an innovation significantly enhancing the likelihood of commercialization of the innovation. This year, the GOED also launched SBA and SBIR Phase 0 and Supplement program options under the Proof of Concept fund.
Xpress Rules Utilizes POC, Relocates Charter to South Dakota
Xpress Rules, LLC, was recently awarded funds through South Dakota’s Proof of Concept program, and as a result, moved its corporate charter to South Dakota.
The company, founded by brothers Lanny Turner and Ron Turner, has developed technology that can take a clear, concise command written in natural language, and in seconds, generate the code needed to implement a new business rule or policy.
For example, if a bank wanted to raise ATM limits for select customers, an administrative assistant with minimal training would be able to use the technology to compose a simple sentence explaining the rule. To accomplish this, XpressRules utilizes a patented technology that any business user can complete. The code generated would then be plugged into the appropriate engines and networks at the bank and ATM limits would be raised almost automatically, saving vast amounts of time and IT costs. The technology also has applications in healthcare, defense, pharma, insurance and regulatory domains.
“The Proof of Concept program was a real asset for us, as was the support we got in South Dakota from the very beginning,” said Lanny Turner. “Applying for the funding was a streamlined process, and the South Dakota Economic Development Office offered great support in aiding us in the effort.”
Lanny said that down the road, Xpress Rules plans to broaden into a Center of Excellence in South Dakota and hire developers and other needed staff from within the state.
“We have had an extremely positive experience here,” Lanny said. “We are looking forward to our company growing in South Dakota.”