Startup Sioux Falls announces $1M gift at ‘wall breaking’

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — You’ve heard of a groundbreaking before but Startup Sioux Falls held a wall breaking Wednesday inside their historic new downtown headquarters.

“We are opening it back up to its natural state if you will,” Startup Sioux Falls Executive Director Brienne Maner said. 

Built in 1904, the building on the corner of 6th Street and Phillips Avenue was most recently the Parks and Recreation headquarters for the city of Sioux Falls.

“This building sat empty for quite a while and it sat empty because we wanted to activate this corner,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul Tenhaken said. “How are we going to get people down here and create the right collisions and conversations.”

That’s exactly what Startup Sioux Falls intends to do with the newly redesigned space.

“We will have a large space for folks to be able to come in and co-work, lots of different spaces for people to plug in, monitors, technology, high-speed internet, but more than that, there’s going to be a community of people here that are all here for the same intent and purpose,” Maner said. 

The remodel work is already underway, but it will take several months to complete. All of it is happening thanks to the help of one key donor.

“He and his team have volunteered countless hours to this organization and he puts his money where his mouth is,” Maner said during the wall-breaking ceremony. 

“Marketbeat is donating a million dollars to pay for the remodel of the space. We believe in the mission of Startup Sioux Falls and we’re really excited to help make that happen,” Marketbeat Founder and Startup Sioux Falls board member Matt Paulson said. 

Paulson announced the key donation at the wall breaking, making a long-term investment in the future of Sioux Falls businesses.

“This gift is an economic development play more than anything,” Paulson said. ” Where we can create a downtown entrepreneurship center for people to come, learn how to start a business and then actually start businesses.” 

“We can see the Arch of Dreams from our window and it gives me goosebumps because….entrepreneurs have to take that leap of faith, that little gap that’s between the two arches and that’s exactly what we’re doing in this facility,” Maner said. 

The new Startup Sioux Falls headquarters will include a 100-person event space called the Marketbeat Theater where all of their trainings and events like One Million Cups will gather. It will also be a rental space available to entrepreneurs and the general public.