South Dakota Technology Business Center

USD adds entrepreneurs in residence

The Beacom School of Business at the University of South Dakota has added three Sioux Falls entrepreneurs to its Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program, designed to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial ventures in the state.

The new additions are Brian Gramm, Rich Naser and Tom Stengrim.

Gramm, who received an accounting degree from USD, is the founder and CEO of Peppermint Energy in Sioux Falls, a clean tech energy company, and also has had experience in business and government-related consulting.

Naser serves as president of the South Dakota Technology Business Center in Sioux Falls and of the research park at USD Discovery District.

Stengrim is vice president of the technology business center and previously ran his own insurance agency.

“We are excited to expand our network of brilliant mentors and to leverage their experience and knowledge,” said Venky Venkatachalam, dean of the business school. The EIR program started in 2014 to facilitate and foster student-based entrepreneurship.

“As we continue to build our team of experts, we believe their backgrounds in helping and connecting startups to resources within the state will be a tremendous asset to our students.”

They will join last year’s entrepreneurs-in-residence, Ben Hanten of Two Bridges Capital and Sue Lancaster of South Dakota Innovation Partners in providing one-on-one mentorship to student entrepreneurs.

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