Mentorship

Ways We Connect Mentors and Mentees

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Mentorship Network

Through our mentorship network we can connect entrepreneurs with mentors whenever and wherever they need it. Once connected, the formal mentorship timeframe for a mentor/mentee match is one meeting. Are you ready to get plugged in? If so, you’re in the right place.

CO.STARTERS

Our CO.STARTERS Accelerator Program is designed to take early- and idea-stage companies, and push them through this difficult phase. Facilitated by one of the mentors in our network, CO.STARTERS is a hands-on ten-week program intended to give you the tools and perspectives you need to get your business to the next level. Interested in learning more? Visit our CO.STARTERS page.

Office Hours Event

We host an office hours event quarterly to connect founder and professional mentors in our network to entrepreneurs with specific questions and support needs. If you have a problem, and you’re looking for a professional to bounce ideas off of, this event is for you. Keep your eyes peeled for event postings on Facebook or on the Events Page of our website.

 

Are you seeking mentorship?

Why Mentorship?

As we look around Sioux Falls, we see an endless number of connections to be made among the thinkers, makers, and dreamers in our community. As an organization, our hearts beat for entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial journey is long, challenging, and can sometimes feel lonely—but we want you to know that you are not alone. We are lucky enough to live and work in a place filled with incredible business owners and professional experts who are ready and willing to provide mentorship and support to entrepreneurs and starters—whether they are building a social venture, creating the next tech business, or laying the groundwork for Downtown Sioux Falls’ next retail business. Whatever your dream is, we want to help you chase it. This is why we’ve built a network of mentors who are ready to listen, encourage, and help you connect the dots as you tackle the next challenge in your business!

 

What is Mentorship?

Mentorship is a give and take relationship between two people who are looking to better themselves both personally and professionally. Entrepreneurs face new and unique challenges in their businesses every day and, all too often, are left to deal with those challenges alone. What if, instead of tackling those challenges by yourself, you had a mentor that could help you by talking you through the situation— providing suggestions and alternate perspectives, connecting you with people in their network, and serving as a much-needed foundation of support? As a mentee, you should expect that a mentor is not going to solve the problem for you, and you should not see the relationship as free access to professional advice. Both mentor and mentee should expect to give and receive; a successful mentorship relationship is not transactional.

 

What are Founder and Expert Mentors?

As an entrepreneur, sometimes it can be helpful to talk to someone who understands—someone who has been in your shoes. Wherever you’re at in your entrepreneurial journey, odds are someone has been there before. The founder mentors in our network can relate, and they can use their experiences to help you weather the storm.

Other times, you may desperately need an outside perspective from a professional expert. Our expert mentors work with entrepreneurs and business owners every day. With expertise in culture, manufacturing, marketing, team building and more, they may bring a fresh perspective to a problem you are trying to solve or be able to connect you with a professional who can.

Already interested in seeking a mentor? Sign up here!

Meet Our Featured Founder and Expert Mentors

ANDY JORGENSEN

Founder
Fire Bros Fireworks

Areas of expertise:

  • Digital Marketing
  • E-Commerce Sales
  • Idea Validation
  • Product Development
  • Shopify Implementation

MARK LUECKE

Co-Founder & CEO
S.D. Innovation Partners
Prairie AquaTech
Medgene Labs

Areas of expertise:

  • Equity Financing
  • Research Commercialization
  • AgTech
  • Biological Processing
  • Product Development

JOHN MEYER

Co-Founder
Lemonly

Areas of expertise:

  • Marketing
  • Company Culture
  • Building Great Teams
  • Sales and Positioning
  • Selling Your Company

AMY MOORE

Co-Founder & Creative Director
Lemonly

Areas of expertise:

  • Graphic Design
  • Brand Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Company Culture

MATT PAULSON

Founder & CEO
MarketBeat

Areas of expertise:

  • Digital Marketing
  • Idea Validation
  • Software Development
  • Venture Capital
  • Company Culture

CINDY ELIFRITS PETERSON

Founder & CEO
Maximizing Excellence

Areas of expertise:

  • Pitch Preparation
  • Staff Culture
  • Customer Psychology
  • Identifying Your Audience
  • Project Management

JODI SCHWAN

Founder
SiouxFalls.Business
Pigeon605

Areas of expertise:

  • Public Relations
  • Storytelling
  • Publishing
  • Personal Networking
  • Advertising Sales

NGOC THACH

Founder & Maker-in-Chief
Mix Maker

Areas of expertise:

  • Communications
  • Public Relations
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Employee Management

PAUL TSCHETTER

Attorney
Boyce Law Firm, L.L.P

Areas of expertise:

  • Legal Entity Selection/Formation
  • Trademarks & Patents
  • Other Intellectual Property Issues
  • Legal Agreements
  • Contract Risk Evaluation

ERIC WEISSER

Chief Executive Officer
Weisser Distributing

Areas of expertise:

  • Company Culture
  • Fundraising/Venture Capital
  • Marketplaces (Amazon, eBay)
  • Right People, Right Seat
  • Company Operating Systems

MICHAEL ZUERCHER

Founder & CEO
Prismatic

Areas of expertise:

  • Enterprise Sales
  • Mergers & Acquisition
  • Private Equity
  • Scaling Your Business
  • Software Development

How are Mentors and Mentees Connected?

Our team uses the information from submitted applications to connect mentees and mentors that are well aligned.

Meet at the Zeal Center

As members of our mentorship network, mentors and mentees are welcome to meet in our collaboration space free of charge. Check out some of the spaces at the Zeal Center here. Did we mention the coffee and popcorn are on us? If you are interested in working on your business at Zeal, learn more about our memberships!

Sign up for mentorship!

Startup Sioux Falls Sponsors

These organizations provide financial support for Startup Sioux falls