South Dakota Technology Business Center

SFBJ–Keep an eye on these six in 2016: Rich Naser

Rich Naser is president of two organizations, and both are positioned for big years.

The South Dakota Technology Business Center plans to announce a new name in February and is rolling out several new programs, including a new entrepreneurs on-staff program. It will bring experienced and active entrepreneurs into the center on a part-time basis to help with entrepreneurial programs, new business development and promotion. The center also is in the midst of a renovation that will create more collaborative space meant to support a pre-incubation model where companies can hone fundamentals before leasing their own space.

“That’s all coming together and going well, and it should be a really exciting 2016 for us,” Naser said.

At the same time, he is leading the University of South Dakota Discovery District, a research park meant to serve as an innovation district at 60th Street North and Marion Road.

“I’m like our entrepreneurs. I get to pick which 12 hours I work,” Naser joked.

The plan is to start constructing the first road and utilities in the spring. Naser is talking with more than 10 companies interested in leasing space at a research facility there. The space would range from 20,000 to 60,000 square feet depending on demand, he said.

“I’d be really pleased and excited if we can make an announcement in 2016 that we’re building the first building,” Naser said. “We’re finding a lot of interest both from companies in this region and from people outside that I think is really validating the concept of what we want the Discovery District to be.”

Keep an eye on these six in 2016

Sioux Falls Business Journal