South Dakota Engineering Accelerator program participants teamed with USD business students to advance projects

Rapid City, South Dakota - Teams that are participating in the South Dakota Engineering Accelerator program teamed up with MBA students from the University of South Dakota to advance their technical projects towards commercialization.

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.

Engineering Accelerator student Dan Nix gives his team's elevator pitch to the MBA students from the University of South Dakota.

The ten teams met with MBA students from the University of South Dakota during July to interact and collaborate on their projects.  The MBA students were brought up to speed on the technical aspects of the projects and worked to develop market research plans that will help move the new technologies toward commercialization.  The teams worked together to discover market segments with the greatest market potential for the technologies.  The students also identified and contacted key industry resources to gain valuable insight into the specific targeted markets.   

Enterprise Institute Executive Director Tim Weelborg said, “The interaction and cross pollination of expertise between the MBA students and the South Dakota Engineering Accelerator teams was a great addition to the program.”

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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