Our mission is to assist South Dakota’s high-growth entrepreneurs.

The Enterprise Institute is a private, non-profit corporation that provides customized business development, commercialization, and market research services to entrepreneurs, investors, and startup companies in South Dakota. 

The Enterprise Institute is credited with formalizing angel investing in South Dakota by organizing and administering angel investment funds. These funds provide early-stage capital to emerging growth companies in the region.

Angel Investment Funds 

We manage an angel investment network with three active and seven mature angel investment funds throughout South Dakota. 

Each fund below accepts applications from high-growth, high-potential companies that are seeking equity funding. These funds are looking to invest in companies that are scalable and are typically differentiated based on some technology or first mover advantage. 

The angel investment funds don't invest in retail stores, restaurants, food trucks, service-based business, real estate projects, or other non-scalable business models. 

The funds are focused on companies headquartered or operating in South Dakota and will at times make exceptions for companies in neighboring states.

If your company fits the scope of a high-growth, high-potential startup company located in our investment region and you are interested in applying for funding please fill out the brief form by clicking the button below. 

Once we receive your form submission we will respond with a formal company application and some general guidelines. 


Equity Review and Presentation Preparation

When equity financing is identified as a needed source of capital in the business planning process, we can help explain and prepare the client to accept equity financing.

This process typically involves coaching, business plan scrubbing, presentation preparation, and navigation of available equity financing options. Examples of coaching can include information on controlling ownership, company structure, securities issues, equity investment modeling, and presentation practice. 

This fee-based service typically includes 2-3 business plan reviews and corresponding meetings by staff members to discuss the project and the results of each review. 

Note: The Enterprise Institute does not offer legal advice, but often makes clients aware of potential legal issues and makes a referral to the appropriate counsel.


The Innovation Expo is our annual conference that is focused on connecting entrepreneurs, innovators, angel investors, venture capitalists, and the many others who are involved in developing startup companies. 

The event showcases entrepreneur and investor speakers sharing their expertise while also providing networking opportunities for the startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem of South Dakota and the surrounding region. The events are hosted in Rapid City, SD and Sioux Falls, SD. 

Rapid City

Tuesday, October 8, 2024

Beck Ballroom - South Dakota Mines Campus 

Sioux Falls

Tuesday, September 24, 2024

Monick Yards - Downtown Sioux Falls

Visit the Innovation Expo Website for event schedules, speaker lists, and ticket purchasing.

Board of Directors 

Keith Bartels of Brookings, SD was the founder of the Martin Group, Inc., in Mitchell.

Aelred Kurtenbach of Brookings, SD is a co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Daktronics, Inc.

Duane Sander of Brookings, SD is a co-founder of Daktronics, Inc. 

Ed Cannon of Minneapolis, MN was the CEO and founder of Cannon Technologies.  

Errol EerNisse of Salt Lake City, UT founded Quartztronics in 1979 and Quartzdyne in 1990.

Darren Haar of Rapid City, SD retired from Dupont in 2012 and now focuses on angel and real estate investments. 

Jerome Lohr of Saratoga, CA, is president of the J. Lohr Properties and the J. Lohr Winery, both located in San Jose.

Jim Morgan of Brookings, SD retired in 2013 after 12 years as president and CEO of Daktronics, Inc. 

Matt Paulson of Sioux Falls, SD is the founder and CEO of MarketBeat, Inc., and a general partner at Homegrown Capital.  

Brad Wheeler of Lemmon, SD is the president of Wheeler Manufacturing Inc.


Tom Eitreim serves as Executive Director of the Enterprise Institute. In his role, he works as an entrepreneur coach specializing in early-stage financing. He assists high-growth startup companies to create viable business plans and attract both angel and venture capital. Tom manages the angel fund network for the Enterprise Institute. The angel fund network focuses on identifying and investing in venture scalable startup companies. 

Tom began his career at the Enterprise Institute overseeing the market research team. His responsibilities evolved to include grant writing and administration, event planning, and angel fund management. His work throughout South Dakota led him to live in various communities including Brookings, Rapid City and Sioux Falls. 

Prior to re-joining the Enterprise Institute, he spent three years working in corporate business development at Sanford Health. Tom is a graduate of South Dakota State University.

Contact Us

If you have questions or would like to connect with us please fill out the brief form by clicking the button below.