Zeal Growth Accelerator accepts four startups

The Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship has chosen four companies to participate in its Zeal Growth Accelerator, which launches June 29.

A panel of Zeal’s partners heard pitches from seven early stage companies and chose the following for this year’s accelerator:

  • Bravo Youth Sports, which has developed a product called The Bravo Board. It is a full-functioning, portable LED message center combined with a scoreboard that lets teams keep score and generate revenue with customized advertisements.
  • Gravana 605, which empowers students to become clear and confident communicators. Gravana started as a small summer tutoring program and expanded to a licensed classroom and district curriculum. It is expanding to an online interface intended to create a learning management ecosystem and hopes to widen its influence in South Dakota and the Midwest.
  • Jobiki, which intends to change the way millennials and others looks for work.  Instead of looking for jobs, Jobiki will enable people to look for and discover companies that match their interests and desires. Companies will use Jobiki to get in front of potential employees in a new and interactive way that matches to those desires and interests.
  • Well 365 is an independent, corporate wellness company that understands wellness is about more than controlling health care costs. Well 365 offers a unique and creative way to create customized wellness programs through an intuitive and customized online portal, with in-person health coaching and other programs.

Candidates in the program will have access to $20,000 in seed funding; Lawrence & Schiller-sponsored branding and marketing strategy development; mentorship and coaching from Zeal entrepreneurs-in-residence and professional partners; and access to the E@Z co-working space, sponsored by Interstate Office Products.

“It’s great to see the next generation of entrepreneurs working to build high-growth businesses here in Sioux Falls,” said Mike Vetter, president and chief technology officer of DataSync Corp. and a Zeal board member who helped evaluate the applicants. “The accelerator program provides key tools to help entrepreneurs not only launch successfully but grow.”

The 12-week intensive program includes a one-day kickoff event and five full-day sessions throughout the summer. The objective of the program is for each participating entrepreneur/team to develop a strategic, scalable plan to grow revenue and increase capacity.  Companies that complete the program will give a final presentation pitch to potential investors and banks to secure funding for the strategy developed during the program.

Zeal Growth Accelerator is sponsored through partnerships with The First National Bank in Sioux Falls, Eide Bailly, Lawrence & Schiller, Midco and Interstate Office Products.

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