JUNE 4, 2018 - VOL. 54 No. 8

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Zeal Growth Accelerator accepts four start-ups

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 Bravo Youth Sports, Gravana 605, Jobiki and Well 365 for this year's accelerator. These four companies will participate in a 12-week intensive program including a one-day kickoff event and five semi-weekly sessions. The objective of the program is for each participant to develop a strategic, scalable plan to grow revenue and/or increase capacity. Successful completion of the program will culminate to a presentation pitch to potential investors and/or banks to secure funding for the strategy developed during the Growth Accelerator program.

Participants in the Growth Accelerator have access to $20,000 in seed funding, branding and marketing strategy development sponsored by Lawrence & Schiller, mentorship and coaching from Zeal entrepreneurs-in-residence and professional partners and access to the E@Z Co-working space, sponsored by Interstates 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 Zeal Growth Accelerator program is generously sponsored through partnerships with The First National Bank Sioux Falls, Eide Bailly, Lawrence & Schiller, Midco and Interstate Office Products.

Since its inception, Zeal client companies have collectively created more than 728 new jobs with an average salary of nearly $70,000 and secured more than $172 million in equity funding. In addition, entrepreneurs associated with Zeal hold 65 patents with an additional 49 pending.

2017 Growth Accelerator Participants

Bravo Youth Sports has a developed 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 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 now expanding to an online interface intended to create a learning management ecosystem.

Jobiki 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 more than healthcare costs. Well 365 offers a unique and creative way to create customized wellness programs through an intuitive and customized online portal, as well as in-person health coaching, along with many other programs.

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