Someone You Should Know: Creating connections and startups

Published: Jan. 22, 2020 at 5:35 PM CST
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Starting a business can be a difficult and lonely venture. So, a Sioux Falls man is helping people connect.

"You don't really hear the stories of the businesses that didn't work out.”

Matt Paulson wants to help people achieve their business dream.

If someone has a question, he's created a platform where they can get an answer.

When a business fails, he encourages them to try again.

"Today we're doing an event called Failure Fest. It's a recognition of the idea that not every business is successful. And just because the business idea didn't succeed, doesn't mean that the business owner is a failure, it just means that idea didn't work,” said Matt.

This is an event he's hosting through his "Startup Sioux Falls" organization.

A big part of the group is its Facebook page.

“It's gone really well. I think it has resonated with the community and people are just very engaged with it,” said Matt.

Nowadays, the Facebook group, which, until last year was called "Entrepreneurs of Sioux Falls" has more than 6,500 members.

It's where people can have meaningful conversations about something in business they're starting from scratch.

"A particular issue like they need to set up their QuickBooks and they don't know how to do that, they can say 'I need help with this, who can help me?' and then any number of people will respond,” said Matt.

"Every month we do a post and say 'Who are you? Please introduce yourself' and people can read through it and say 'Hey, maybe there's somebody I want to connect with,” said Matt.

An entrepreneur himself, Matt says he created "Startup Sioux Falls" because he noticed something was missing.

"About a year ago, I saw some outstanding needs in the small business community in Sioux Falls. There was no place to identify all of the organizations and resources that were available for entrepreneurs to help them start their businesses. There was a community of entrepreneurs but there was no connecting point for entrepreneurs,” said Matt.

Now, he's trying to help others go from startup to success.

"I really want there to be stuff around for the next guy that I wish I had when I was starting my business in terms of information about resources that are available, training opportunities, community networking opportunities. There just weren't events for small business owners and entrepreneurs in Sioux Falls ten years ago and I'm glad they exist today,” said Matt.

"Startup Sioux Falls" continues to grow and evolve. As of the start of this year, it's now a community program of the "Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship" in Sioux Falls.