Applications open for funds to local startups

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 11:23 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Elevate Rapid City is giving people in the area the opportunity to unleash their own entrepreneurial aspirations.

The organization, as part of a partnership with Heartland Forward and Builders and Backers, announced that you can apply for a $5-thousand grant by turning ideas into potential businesses.

Elevate’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director says there’s been an industry shift in the community with recent technological advances.

The pandemic showed that young South Dakota entrepreneurs can make good money while staying in a community like Rapid.

”With the technology focus we have, and wanting to be an innovative community, and the pandemic showing that ‘I can do this from my living room, or basement, or our incubator or a coffee shop,” says Innovation & Entrepreneurship director of Elevate Rapid City Mitch Nachtigall. “I think we’re on the cusp of something great with that, because we’ve seen that it’s possible to do it from here, and you don’t have to go somewhere else.”

If you’re interested in applying to the program you have until August 15th.

James Atkin, head of public engagement for Builders and Backers, says the right applicants will be able to see a problem, and experiment with potential solutions.

”Everyone walks around with an idea in their head,” Atkin said. “They have ideas when they’re at school, or with their kid, or at the E.R. at 3 in the morning and think, ‘someone should build this, this should exist.’ But that’s when they stop. This is about getting those people who have ideas to say, ‘why don’t I try and build that?’”

This accelerator program was first brought to the heartland last summer, and have so far expanded to 11 cities.

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