Brewing up a business plan

MADISON, S.D. (KELO) — DSU PhD student Dylan Johnson started making beer about four years ago.

“I just kind of got into it on a whim like, ‘You know what? This sounds like something that would be kind of fun,’” Entrepreneur Dylan Johnson said.

Add his friend and fellow DSU grad Jarod Keene to the equation, and it’s a recipe for business.

The two men want to open a microbrewery taproom in Madison.

“We’ve got the space allocated; we’re starting to work on some early brews for what we want to show people, and we’re starting to pick what the area likes from other places, Sioux Falls breweries, Minnesota breweries, things like that,” Entrepreneur Jarod Keene said.

While Keene says he’s always had a level of interest in starting a business, he says the duo lacked a foundation.

“We didn’t know where’s our capital raising? Where are we going to put our assets? How do we make sure we have an exit strategy? What’s our business plan?,” Keene said.

Fortunately, the Paulson Cyber Incubator and Entrepreneurial Center at DSU helped answer those questions.

The space is designed to help students, faculty, staff, and the public start and grow businesses in Madison and the state.

“It is better to start a business with some planning and definitely doing what we call customer discovery, getting outside of the building and talking with real potential customers so that you understand what their problems are so that you make sure that you’re creating the solution for that problem,” DSU director of economic development Katherine Cota said.

And Johnson is excited for the venture to pour into the Madison business community.

“Madison is growing quite fast. We’re getting more businesses every day, and I think it’s just really exciting to be a part of that,” Johnson said.

The center is named after DSU alumnus and entrepreneur Matt Paulson.

He and his wife gave a $300,000 gift to the project.