Top Angel Investors in South Dakota

Last updated: February 23, 2024

Ranking among the top 50 states in the US with the highest GDP, South Dakota has a stable economy and is a hub for many businesses. The state hosts around 1M people and has an unemployment rate of only 2%, which is lower than the national average.

Similarly, there are many investment firms and angel groups that provide funding to deserving startups.

Do you want to know these firms and their investment interests?

Well, let’s wait no longer and start discussing the list of the top 5 angel investors in South Dakota.

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    Top 5 Angel Investors in South Dakota

    Following is the list of the top investment firms in Dakota. Although there used to be a lot of individual investors, most of them have joined angel groups and are funding startups through a network.

    Here’s some detailed information.

    Bluestem Capital


    Website: Bluestem (

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: Healthcare

    Investment Stage: Seed

    Bluestem Capital was founded in 1989 by Paul Schock and Steve Kirby. The firm is a private equity company based in Sioux Falls and has made 29 investments.

    When funding startups, Bluestem Capital focuses on ventures that can promise profitability and introduce something unique to the market. They do not invest in startups at the early stage or those that cannot generate at least 3x ROI within 2 years of investment.

    Aside from investments, Bluestem Capital also arranges many mentorship programs, networking events, and startup accelerators. It's an active investment firm with around 20 investors and 50+ mentors.

    The investment range of Bluestem Capital ranges from $500,000 to $3M. Notable portfolio companies include:

    Zerigo Health, Inc.: Zerigo Health has developed the first and only connected phototherapy system, The Zerigo Health Solution, that uses an app on the patient’s own smartphone (iOS or Android) to manage the dose, frequency, and duration of targeted narrowband UVB (NB-UVB) light therapy.

    TherOptix: TherOptix is developing novel treatment approaches for anterior and posterior ocular indications. The startup wants to improve treatment outcomes by targeting diseased tissue with effective molecules across a range of indications and molecule classes.

    Equinox: Equinox is a medical device company with an adjustable, non-surgical, non-pharmacological technology to treat diseases of the optic nerve such as glaucoma, idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), hypotony, visual impairment and intracranial pressure (VIIP). 

    Orasis Pharmaceuticals: Orasis is an emerging ophthalmic pharmaceutical company developing a prescription eye drop for presbyopia as an alternative to reading glasses. Their most recent funding was a Series C round, where they raised $30 million.

    Bird Dog Equity Partners


    Website: Bird Dog Equity Partners

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: Real Estate, Restaurants, and Tech

    Investment Stage: Seed

    Bird Dog Equity Partners was founded in 2010 by Chad Hatch and Paul Schock. The firm is a private equity company based in Sioux Falls and has made around 25 investments through 3 funds. 

    With a team of 5 investors, Bird Dog Equity Partners focuses on growth-stage startups that are making a decent revenue of around $600,000k annually. They also prefer businesses that are presenting unique solutions to the market.

    Although most of their previous investments were in the retail, hotels, and food sectors, the firm will also invest in tech-related startups in 2024, as per their latest report.

    The investment range of Bird Dog Equity Partners can range up to $5M, depending on the startup. Some of their portfolio companies are:

    EverSpring Inn & Suites: EverSpring Inn & Suites is a hotel chain with locations in Bismarck, ND, Hill City, SD, and Marshall. They offer Midwestern hospitality with unexpected amenities designed to refresh, all at a reasonable price.

    Best Western: Best Western is a global hotel brand that offers a variety of accommodations worldwide. They offer exclusive member rates, points that never expire, worldwide free nights, and more through their Best Western Rewards program. 

    Holiday Inn Express: Holiday Inn Express is a part of the InterContinental Hotels Group and offers affordable accommodations worldwide. They offer rooms designed for comfort, free hot breakfast, and flexible spaces for family reunions, meetings, or sports teams. 

    Homegrown Capital Partners


    Website: Homegrown Capital

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: Tech

    Investment Stage: Seed

    Headquartered in Brookings, Homegrown Capital Partners is also one of the recently founded venture capital firms. With a total of 10 investments in their portfolio, the investors are actively searching for deserving startups and providing them with funding.

    Each year, Homegrown Capital Partners arranges several pitching competitions and selects startups through screening tests. The investors have a strict requirement of only selecting startups that are led by experienced leaders and have decent growth potential. 

    Similarly, the network also arranges many networking events to help startup leaders participate and meet investors with ideal investment interests. They actively participate in their portfolio companies at a board level to provide expertise and connections to grow the business.

    The investment range of Homegrown Capital Partners ranges from $500,000 to $1.5M. Some of their portfolio companies are:

    Thread: Thread is an online personal styling platform designed to help men find clothes. The platform offers a combination of human stylists and machine learning algorithms, where they receive personalized information from human stylists and suggestions.

    School of Traditional Skills: The School of Traditional Skills is an online, subscription-based, video education platform that connects people desiring to learn traditional skills with trusted instructors. It is a homestead school shortcut to self-sufficiency, the easy way to avoid feeling overwhelmed and anxious. 

    Sentinel Fertigation: Sentinel Fertigation is an AgTech company specializing in nitrogen management solutions for farmers. They have developed the N-Time FMS platform that turns multispectral aerial imagery of crops into fertigation recommendations. They secured a $2.5 million series seed funding round.

    Thinking Engines: Thinking Engines is a developer of a construction site monitoring and reporting platform intended to effortlessly monitor and report on critical construction site activities. They secured a $5,000,000 Series A funding round.

    Split Rock Partners


    Website: – Venture Capital

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: Digital Marketing, E-Commerce, and Software

    Investment Stage: Seed

    Founded by David Stassen, Jim Simons, and Michael Gorman, Split Rock Partners is one of the most active investors in South Dakota. They have funded a total of 105 startups and are headquartered in Minnesota.

    Split Rock Partners invests in emerging healthcare, software, and Internet services companies in the Upper Midwest and West Coast. They invest across all stages of company development, providing capital through flexible investment strategies, including primary investments, direct secondary, and blended structures. 

    Similarly, the venture capital firm is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs who are building leading software and cloud-based services companies. They also arrange many public events in order to help new entrepreneurs through different startup stages.

    The investment range of Spilt Rock Partners isn't mentioned on their website. However, from their previous investments, it's possible that they invested around $2M. Among their investments, some portfolio companies are:

    Acquia: Acquia is an open-source digital experience company that empowers brands to embrace innovation and create customer moments that matter. Acquia has raised a total of $173.5 million.

    BigCommerce: BigCommerce is a NASDAQ-listed e-commerce platform that provides software as a service to retailers. BigCommerce has raised a total of $224.2 million.

    Demandbase: Demandbase is an account-based marketing (ABM), advertising, sales intelligence, and data company. Demandbase has raised a total of $318 million.

    Falls Angel Fund

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: Software and Healthcare

    Investment Stage: Early

    Falls Angel Fund is an investment firm that was founded in 2016. It was a joint effort between the South Dakota Enterprise Institute and local investors John Henkhaus, Steve Sarbacker, and Matt Paulson.

    Talking about their investment activities, Falls Angel Fund chooses to invest in early-stage companies based in South Dakota or the surrounding region. They are industry-agnostic and look into a company’s viability and growth potential when considering an investment. They consider whether the entrepreneurs are in it for the long haul and if they can pivot and keep working hard to make their dream a reality when faced with challenges.

    The investment range of Falls Angel Fund is between $25,000 to $500,000. Among their investments, some notable portfolio companies are:

    Prismatic: Prismatic is a software development application. They secured funding from Falls Angel Fund during their Seed Round, raising $3.3M.

    Oska Wellness: Oska Wellness is a therapeutic devices company. They secured funding of $5.5M.

    Myriad Mobile: Myriad Mobile is a mobile and web application development firm. They secured funding from the Falls Angel Fund, raising $1.5M.


    In conclusion, I would end things with some tips on how to pitch to angel investors. Always conduct strong research before pitching to angel investors. Understand their investment interests, investment range, and startup preferences to successfully deliver your startup idea.

    Good Luck!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Why are venture capital firms more interested in places like Silicon Valley?

    A: Tech hubs like Silicon Valley have witnessed a sudden increase in venture capital firms due to the dynamic startup ecosystem, abundant innovative enterprises, availability of a skilled talent pool, and a culture that encourages collaboration and growth.

    Q: How Do Angel Investors Help Businesses Grow?

    A: Angel investors play a crucial role in the growth of businesses by providing essential funding during the early stages. Their financial support enables startups to develop products, scale operations, and expand their market reach. Moreover, angel investors bring valuable expertise and networking opportunities, contributing to the overall success and sustainability of the ventures they back.

    Q: How To Pass Angel Investor's Screening Tests?

    A: Pitching Angel investors is an art in itself.

    Entrepreneurs should focus on crafting a compelling business plan and pitch to pass angel investors' screening tests. Demonstrating a clear vision, market demand, understanding of startup stages and a solid revenue model are crucial.

    Showing a strong understanding of the target market and competitive landscape, along with a credible team, helps build investor confidence.

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