When most people think of the technology industry, South Dakota does not usually come to mind. Agriculture is the top industry in the state. But, the technology industry is steadily growing, and the largest tech companies in South Dakota are making names for themselves now.

Let’s discuss the top tech companies in South Dakota today!

Largest Tech Companies in South Dakota

The tech industry in South Dakota is small but steadily growing all the time. Here is a list of some of the largest tech companies in South Dakota according to workforce size.

5. Datasync (Flywheel) – 50 employees

Datasync is a computer software design, consultation, and management company. It was founded in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2005.

The company installs proprietary or customized business software that can be optimized as data management metrics. The software can be used to record and quantify customer satisfaction, follow financial markets, analyze sales, and more. Plus, Datasync can calibrate the software to be accessed by clients on tablets and smart devices.

Datasync serves clients all over the world. In 2017, the company’s newest signature software, Flywheel, was launched specifically for the manufacturing market. Datasync began using Flywheel as its trade name soon afterward.

The company generated $25.9 million in revenue in 2021.

4. Sioux Valley Energy – 100 employees

Sioux Valley Energy is an electric power generation cooperative and utility company that is headquartered in Colman, South Dakota, and was founded in 1938. The company also manufactures proprietary electrical equipment used in its energy generation and distribution endeavors.

Sioux Valley Energy serves over 23,000 customers throughout east and central South Dakota and the southwestern part of Minnesota. As a cooperative, the company works with over 32 million cooperative owners in 46 states. 

Sioux Valley Energy powers over 56% of the land mass in the continental United States.

The company employs about 100 people and generated over $86.9 million in operating revenue in 2020.

Energy utility engineer
Sioux Valley Energy is an electric and utility company that produces electrical equipment.

3. Innovative Systems – 178 employees

Innovative Systems is a broadband, telecommunications technology, and software company that offers business solutions to utility companies. The company was founded in 1998 in Mitchell, South Dakota.

Innovative Systems specializes in offering video, billing, voice, and operations software systems and broadband to rural and remote utility companies to help them optimize their operations.

The company employs 178 people.

2. Sencore – 200 employees

Sencore is an electronics and high-quality signal testing and transmission solutions company headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The company was founded by R. H. Bowden in 1951 in Chicago, Illinois, but was relocated to Sioux Falls by 1971.

Sencore designs and manufactures computer monitors, audio-visual equipment, high-definition televisions, electronic audio products, and various kinds of consumer electronics. The company’s main business products are manufacturing electronic testing, measuring, and sensor equipment.

Sencore serves a domestic and global clientele. The company has 200 employees.

1. Brinks Web Solutions – 750 employees

Brinks Web Solutions is a web design and digital marketing company that was founded in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2008.

Brinks Web Solutions also offers SEO optimization, WordPress hosting, eCommerce site management, Google advertising, social media management, website design, and other services.

The Largest Private Tech Companies in South Dakota You May Not Know About

Sioux Valley Energy, #4 on our list, is one of the largest private tech companies in the state of South Dakota that you may not know about. Even though the company employs around 100 people, it generated over $90 million in revenue in 2021. The small company extends its business reach and influence by acting as the head of a 46-state energy collective. Sioux Valley Energy owns $11 billion in energy generation assets and generates power in over 2 million miles of power lines.

The Largest Publicly Traded Tech Companies in South Dakota

The tech industry in South Dakota is admittedly still growing. But, that does not mean that there are not some big publicly traded tech companies operating in the state. Here are three big ones as ranked by their 2021 revenues.

3. Raven Industries – $348 million USD

Raven Industries is an international agricultural technology company that creates innovations and business solutions for the agriculture, energy, aerospace, military, and construction industries. 

The company was created in 1956 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to consult the American government and NASA on the feasibility of space exploration. Since then, Raven Industries has been dedicated to advancing and innovating the farming industry, helping farmers reduce costs and optimize their yields with the help of technology.

Raven Industries creates and sells technological products like geomembranes, polyethylene plastic films, construction sheeting, high-altitude balloons, autonomous farm equipment, radar systems, and aerostats.

This is a little-known fact, but companies like Raven, along with Semco and Piccard Balloons, were one of the first to manufacture hot air balloons in the 1960s.

Raven Industries was wholly acquired by CNH Industrial in 2021 and became a public company. Company shares are traded under the symbol RAVN. It’s a large international company with 1,300 employees and generated over $348 million in revenue in 2021.

2. Daktronics – $482.03 million USD

Daktronics is a proprietary and custom electronics and manufacturing company that is headquartered in Brookings, South Dakota. Daktronics is a national leader in the electronic sign and video display industry. 

The company was founded in 1968 by two electrical engineering professors at South Dakota State University, Duane Sander and Aelred Kurtenbach. The company’s name is a combination of the words “Dakota” and “electronics.”

Daktronics was initially launched to provide electronic displays for regional voting systems and local retailer marketing needs. Now, the company designs, develop, manufactures, and sells electronic displays for retailers, digital billboards, scoreboards, sound systems, message signs, and similar products.

Daktronics has been supplying the official digital scoreboards for the Olympic Games for several decades now. If you have ever watched the Olympics, you may have seen some of Daktronics’ products without even knowing it. However, due to the nature of the multimillion and even billion-dollar sponsorship deals that corporations sign with the Olympics organization, the logos of sponsors are more prominent and visible than the manufacturer of the digital scoreboard.

Since the 2000s, Daktronics has also been consulting with the National Basketball Association to help them better chronicle and digitally referee their games. The company created a digital shot clock that helps viewers see the game action more clearly. And, they developed lighting strips that are affixed to the backboard to aid referees who need to judge baskets that beat the buzzer.

Daktronics became a publicly traded company in 1994. The company is traded under the name “DAKT” on the financial trading markets. Daktronics is a large company that employs 2,501 employees and has a 2021 revenue of $482.03 million.

Daktronics
You’ve probably seen a Daktronics scoreboard without even knowing it!

1. Black Hills Corporation – $1.696 billion

Black Hills Corporation is one of the largest energy generation and diversification utility companies in South Dakota. The company was founded in 1941 in Rapid City, South Dakota. 

The concept for the company started in 1883 with the Black Hills Electric Light Company of Deadwood but took its current name in 1941 after several mergers and expansions in the early 20th century.

Black Hills Corporation generates, locally transmits, and distributes wholesale electricity to over 765,000 customers in Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. The company also employs proprietary technologies that enable them to mine coal, natural gas, and oil, as well.

Black Hills Corporation is a large company with over 3,000 employees. The company generated over $1.696 billion in revenue in 2021.

Black Hills Corporation
Black Hills Corporation is one of the largest companies in South Dakota.

Largest Forgotten Tech Company in South Dakota

DocuTap (Experity) – 124 employees

DocuTap, now rebranded as Experity, was a software developer that created data management software products for use primarily in the healthcare industry.

DocuTap was founded by CEO Eric McDonald in 2000. McDonald predicted that the paper-regime standard of recordkeeping in the healthcare industry would evolve to become fully digital and accessible via handheld devices back in 2000. However, while McDonald’s ambition was boundless, he was the sole employee in the company at the time.

McDonald spent five years writing DocuTap’s future proprietary code by himself. He didn’t source any investors until 2012. DocuTap offered automated and customizable software tools that helped healthcare workers better organize, integrate, save, and transfer patient records or medical documents. 

At one point, the company increased to 250 employees and had offices in Georgia and Missouri. By 2019, the New York-based private equity corporation, Warburg Pincus, bought DocuTap and a similar software company, Private Velocity, and merged the two into one new company called Experity.

Experity’s data management software products are now used in over 4,000 healthcare clinics in the United States.

digital record keeping professionals on a tablet
Experity was a digital record-keeping software designed for medical professionals.

Largest Tech Companies in South Dakota FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How small is the tech industry in South Dakota?

The tech industry is so small in South Dakota that it is not even in the top five. The major industries in South Dakota are agriculture, fishing, forestry, mining, and power generation. While the tech industry is important in South Dakota, it will be some time before it overtakes agriculture as the number one industry.

 

What is the South Dakota state government doing to increase the profile of the tech industry?

In 2019, Governor Kristi Noem pledged to make the cybersecurity industry a top business priority in the coming years. Governor Noem also pledged to work with Dakota State University and other academic institutions to help prep students for the next generation of tech jobs.

State and city leaders are optimistic that South Dakota could be a tech industry leader in the coming years.

Which South Dakotan City is currently the center of the tech industry?

Sioux Falls is arguably the current tech industry center in the state.

Why is the tech industry struggling in South Dakota?

Many South Dakotans who get training and certification in the tech industry usually leave the state to get better-paying jobs.

How much money does the tech industry generate for the state?

A 2018 study found that the South Dakotan tech industry generated over $2 billion for the state’s coffers.

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