• July/August 2018

Zeal Accelerator accepts
five start-ups

Five Sioux Falls-area businesses will take a significant step forward in their growth by completing this year’s accelerator program through the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship.

The 2018 participants are Contjac, Feed the Stripe, SolarHeart, Up Tempo Music Lessons and WrapAbility. They were chosen from a field of 15 applicants by a selection committee.

“We were thrilled with the number and quality of applicants for this year’s accelerator,” said Michelle Gjerde, Zeal’s executive director. “The program ahead is an intensive one, and we look forward to helping these participants ramp up growth and tackle scale-up hurdles.”

The 12-week program, which began June 15, brings resources and the opportunity for significant investment to the participants. Start-ups selected for the accelerator receive unlimited access to Zeal’s 24/7 coworking and meeting room space; full-day working-group sessions featuring guest experts; business coaching from Zeal’s entrepreneurs-in-residence and mentors; assistance with formalizing a strategic plan, needs assessment and business plan stress test; access to potential financing partners; and the opportunity for cash infusion through Zeal’s accelerator capital investment fund.

The accelerator program has three local professional partners that power the opportunity and provide the capital investment funds: Eide Bailly LLP, The First National Bank in Sioux Falls and Woods Fuller Shultz & Smith P.C.

2018 Growth Accelerator Participants

Contjac strives to apply the principles of refractive surgery, like LASIK, to other areas of vision correction such as contact lenses, orthokeratology and myopia control, and in doing so also improve eye health and visual outcomes.

Feed The Stripe LLC specializes in selling high performance racing parts to the drag racing market. A knowledgeable and specialized dealer in its industry, the company sells online at feedthestripe.com and at the race track.

SolarHeart is making solar power as easy to use as a standard wall outlet, developing off-grid AC solar panels that are easy-to-use, modular and are plug-and-play capable. Its products allow users to have power anywhere and be free from the cost, noise, fumes, time and maintenance of gas generators.

Up Tempo Music Lessons offers premier in-home music lessons specifically designed for children and young adults. The company uses a unique teaching style that leaves students eager to learn more and has proven retention. Its mission is to deliver academic understanding of music theory in a fun approach by learning current songs.

WrapAbility creates high-quality, long-term attachment wraps for personal and professional use. The business performs wrap installations on prestige sports vehicles, large commercial fleet vehicles, trailers, corporate wall displays and windows, and has plans to expand to more design and vinyl offerings.

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