Photo Gallery: Zeal IGNITE Series with Mark Luecke


In the 2nd edition of the Zeal Ignite Series, guest speaker Mark Luecke delivered a highly technical but remarkably simplistic presentation around his experiences with capital funding and navigating companies through the “valley of death”.

The valley of death referring to the capital campaign phase of achieving enough startup fuel for operations, efficiently and effectively allocating those resources, and moving fast enough to achieve revenue substantial enough before running out of initial funding in the stages of a startup company.  Once you prove the model, execute on opportunities, and match product market fit in a salable revenue model you can climb out of the valley of death and find success as a sustainable business endeavor.

Most of this shared experience from Mark was from SD Innovation Partner’s current project, Prairie AquaTech, that has patented technology in the soy meal biological process and is looking to serve global demand of aquaculture (fish production), the fastest growing U.S. and global agriculture division.

The South Dakota locally birthed and housed innovation is looking to plant themselves as a leader in the global protein value chain with a mission to capitalize on an inefficient feed ingredient market and help secure the world’s food supply with sustainable products. If successful they will be a component in better food quantity and quality to a growing global population.

We know we’ll be following their development, you can too at 

Thanks to Mr. Mark Luecke for sharing his insights and for those that attended. Below are photos from the July 24th event at downtown Sioux Falls’ Josiah’s coffeehouse location.