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Success Stories

Sean Coffman would probably be the first one to tell you he did not choose to start a business or become an entrepreneur; it chose him, but there may have been early clues to Sean’s future when in the eighth grade he sold “spook insurance” to his neighbors. (For only a $1, Sean and his friend would clean up any mess resulting from Halloween.) Sean is self-taught in business having only a high school education and six months of college. But after those few months of college and working at a car wash nights and weekends drying off cars, Sean realized he was on the wrong track, moved back home with his parents and joined the family printing business. It was in the print shop days that Sean learned enough about business to get his creativity going. Working in the print shop during the day, and rebuilding cars at night, Sean began studying the stock market and had great success turning a $3,000 investment into nearly $100,000 in a few short months, before turning that same $100,000 back... Read More

Midwestern Mechanical, Inc. is a plumbing, heating, HVAC and fire protection contracting firm with a reputation for providing quality work design and service in the region. The work performed includes new work, additions, alterations, maintenance and repairs. Midwestern Mechanical has offices in Sioux Falls and Rapid City in South Dakota, and Sioux City and Spencer in Iowa. In 1983 at the age of 23, Dwayne Klarenbeek established the business in Sioux Falls and has successfully grown the operation over the past 29 years. Throughout the years, the business has expanded from a start-up two-man shop to the current 125 employee operation it is today. Many of its employees have been with the company since its inception. Expansion began in 1998 whenDwayne opened the location in Sioux City. The business expanded again in 2009 to Spencer and then in 2010 a fourth location was opened in Rapid City. These expansions were made possible through guaranteed loans with the U.S. Small Business... Read More

The South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO), is located on the campus of Black Hills State University.  In 2009, the University, through a five-year grant awarded by the SBA Office of Women Business Ownership, established the SD CEO.  The mission is to provide comprehensive training and business assistance, support and counseling for aspiring and established entrepreneurs on a statewide basis.  Specific target audiences include Women, Women Veterans, Native Americans, Youth Entrepreneurs and the Socially and Economically Disadvantaged. 

Since 2009, SD CEO has exceeded all of the goals set forth in the SBA Work Plans.  Each, year the number of participants continued to expand from 535 attendees and clients in the first grant period to over 1200 in the third year grant period.  SD CEO created a monthly Women In Networking (W.I.N.) organization, created and hosts the annual Celebrating Women in Business Luncheon and created and hosts SD CEO’s signature event,... Read More

John "brofounded" 9 Clouds with his brother Scott in 2009 when Scott came home from Norway and John was back for the weekend from Minneapolis.  It was when they decided to have pizza and noticed their mother reaching for the phone book to find a number.  It was at that point the “bros” decided to launch their business and use this opportunity to move back to their home state of South Dakota.  Together they connect businesses with customers by using the Internet and adding personality to a brand. 9 Clouds excels at social media marketing, market research, blog development & strategy, search engine optimization and paid search campaign management.  They are also co-founders of Lemon.ly, a visual marketing firm that is on a mission to make the world an easier place to understand.   That company specializes in infographics and data viz, and works with clients in South Dakota such as Purity Seeds in Raymond and the Kuchen Man in Rapid City and around the country including Toyota,... Read More