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Startup Pitch Night awards $1k to one local business – Argus Leader

Members (L-R) Robby Hodgdon, Matthew Cole, Logan Wolfe, Lynn Bartholow, Sydney Bartunek Bender, Makenzie Huber, Emmett Reistroffer, Gavin Van De Walle, Rhiannon Israel, Tanna Soukup Carrie Kuhl and Liz Larkin of the second cohort of CO.STARTERS by Startup Sioux Falls pose before their competition pitching their businesses to local leaders at Icon Lounge and Events downtown. July 13th, 2021.

Startup Sioux Falls hosted a competition for all the graduates of its startup program, awarding one brand-new business $1,000.

Ten businesses went through a spring and summer of classes, mentoring, financial advice and more to help their fledgling ideas take form and leave the nest.

At their graduation, the following businesses gave speeches to influential Sioux Falls leaders and judges for a chance to get funding.

  1. Lynn Bartholow started H.E.R. Research, connecting physician practices to potential participants to bring more clinical trials to South Dakota to help drugs get to market faster.
  2. Sydney Bartunek Bender started Move to Heal South Dakota, a meditation and whole body concept behind healing from and preventing the effects of trauma for children through school and other providers.
  3. Matthew Cole and Logan Wolf started Prairie BioTechnology, to help keep food fresher for longer with a small pack that claims to kill microbes.
  4. Robby Hodgdon started Futurescape 3D, a business-to-business 3D printing company.
  5. Makenzie Huber, who works for the Argus Leader as a business reporter, started Your Story Studios, a professional service recording elders’ life histories for families, before it’s too late.
  6. Rhiannon Israel started Welcome Sioux Falls, a company aiming to smooth the transition for new residents by partnering with employers to make targeted and more cost-effective services.
  7. Carrie Kuhl started UpFrame Creative as a design company serving businesses.
  8. Liz Larkin started LarkAbout, an app that connects and pings phone users to experiences and deals at local businesses as they walk downtown.
  9. Emmett Reistroffer started Sioux Falls Pedicabs, a cycling taxi service for downtown 
  10. Tanna Soukup started determining ideas but accepted a role at the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  11. Gavin Van De Walle started Dakota Dieticians for area health services.

Welcome Sioux Falls won the contest and $1,000 with a combination of crowd and judge feedback determining the award. Sioux Falls Pedicab got second place and $500. Prairie BioTechnology took 3rd and got $250.