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April 19, 2018 10:03 PM

New Leader For Sioux Falls Area Entrepreneurship

You could call Adam Learing a serial entrepreneur.

"This is my third company," Learing said.

He's made a couple attempts at starting businesses but now has landed on one with great success.

Learn Create Build Academy hosts technology camps for kids. In two years he's expanded to 14 states and 45 employees.

"We host anything that's nerdy-- drones, animation, programming, and website design," Learing said.

Learing gets advice from the Zeal Center For Entrepreneurship. The Sioux Falls center now has a new executive director, Michelle Gjerde.

"I have been fortunate in my career to see the ultimate entrepreneur stories, like Gateway," Gjerde said.

Gjerde worked for Gateway right after college. She was one of the first employees and worked directly with the company's founder.

"Seeing an entrepreneur in action, I really came to appreciate the drive and vision of an entrepreneur and how important that is to the culture of the company," Gjerde said.

Gjerde also wants to make sure that all entrepreneurs, even those who just have a vision and no solid plan, know they can get help here.

"We really think we have a huge opportunity at Zeal to become the hub for all things entrepreneur," Gjerde said.

Goals that will hopefully grow businesses like Learn Create Build.

"Parents are looking for an educational option for kids spending time on the tablet. They're like, 'My kid is going to play on the computer. I want them to learn something.' That's exactly what we're doing. We're teaching them a skill," Learing said.

Skills that could lead to future entrepreneurs.

In addition to Gateway, Gjerde also worked for other fortune 500 companies and created her own sales and marketing consulting firm.


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