FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 26, 2018
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RAPID CITY, S.D. — Rapid City Economic Development Foundation’s branch, Ascent Innovation (formerly known as the Black Hills Business Development Center) – is expanding into Rapid City’s downtown district east of 5th Street this summer. This expansion will establish additional opportunities for innovation growth in western South Dakota. Since inception, over 30 companies have been admitted to the Development Center, resulting in over 400 jobs during their tenancies.
Currently, the center located on the university loop of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology campus has reached its maximum occupancy at 23 tenants, 112 full-time employees, and 51 interns from SD Mines and Black Hills State University. Current tenants have an estimated total annual payroll of $4.9M+ with the average wage reaching upwards of $74,000.
“The Center is dedicated to incubating startup (or new-to-the-area) highly-skilled businesses with growth potential, as well as offering student skill progression,” said Ascent Innovation’s Executive Director Terri Haverly. “Encouraging the development of local businesses has served to provide new, increased job opportunities, additions to the variety of products and services available in the area, and contributes to the general economic health of the region.”
On Nov. 20, 2017, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender’s request for the building at 108 E. Main Street to be secured for the Ascent Innovation expansion passed a Rapid City Council vote unanimously and the preparation for expansion has begun. An architectural firm has been engaged to provide design and planning counsel and structural assessments of the building are in progress.
“We want people to discover the world of entrepreneurship and to find their place in the Rapid City Entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Haverly. “The Center will be a part of the bigger vision of the city’s master plan and help ideas to become a reality.”