South Dakota Engineering Accelerator program Participants to be featured at upcoming Entrepreneurship Conference

Rapid City, South Dakota - Business teams that are participating in the South Dakota Engineering Accelerator program will be featured at a local entrepreneurship conference on September 29th at the Holiday Inn – Rushmore Plaza in Rapid City. 

Ten teams from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology are currently participating in a business accelerator program created by the Enterprise Institute and funded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.  The teams are comprised of mix of students, faculty, and entrepreneurs-in-residence.  The South Dakota Engineering Accelerator is focused on high-growth business creation and the commercialization of engineering-focused projects from the university system and the general public.

Enterprise Institute Executive Director Tim Weelborg said, “We’re excited to showcase these amazing projects from the Accelerator program.  These technologies and projects will surely inspire other conference attendees to be interested in starting a business.”

Innovation Expo is an entrepreneurship conference that encourages and celebrates entrepreneurship and connects those who are involved in the process including: investors, business developers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, etc..  The Enterprise Institute has held this event in the eastern part of the State for the last 12 years and is expanding it to Rapid City this year.  More information can be found at the event website:

About the Enterprise Institute:

The Enterprise Institute began in 2001 when a group of business leaders and entrepreneurs decided to help identify and launch high­ growth businesses in South Dakota. The mission of the Enterprise Institute is to encourage and assist the establishment of growth enterprises in the state. Since 2006, the Enterprise Institute has organized and currently administers seven member managed angel investment funds in the state of South Dakota. To date the funds include over 130 individual accredited investors and have raised over $7,500,000 to invest in startup companies in the state and region.

About the Blackstone Charitable Foundation:

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was founded at the time of Blackstone’s IPO in 2007 with substantial commitments from the Firm’s employees. Influenced by the enterprising heritage of the firm and its founders, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is directing its resources and applying the intellectual capital of the firm to foster entrepreneurship in areas nationwide and globally. Through its investment expertise across several asset classes and geographies, Blackstone has a unique perspective on the global economy and a heightened understanding of how entrepreneurial activity is often the crucial catalyst in the growth of successful businesses, industries, and communities.  

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