FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2018
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RAPID CITY, S.D. — On June 27, 2018, the Rapid City Economic Development Foundation’s branch – Ascent Innovation (formerly known as the Black Hills Business Development Center) – unveiled the Rise of Innovation project. This project is a rebranding and expansion of helping ideas become a reality in Rapid City through discovering the world of our entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Since 2006, the BHBDC has nurtured tech-related, startup business growth in Rapid City. The current building (now called the Ascent Innovation Center) at 525 University Loop is at maximum occupancy – housing 23 companies. These 23 companies collectively employ 112 full-time employees and 51 interns, with an estimated total annual payroll of $4.9M+ with the average wage reaching upwards of $74,000.
“For years, this has been the right building; it’s been successful,” said Ascent Innovation’s Executive Director Terri Haverly. “Now, it’s time to harness the entrepreneurial system happening east of 5th Street and foster the opportunity presented to us.”
Last summer, an opportunity from Mayor Allender and City Council was presented to acquire the property at 108 E. Main Street – developing a link between South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and economic entities at the city’s center. This expansion supports the new emphasis of our community – a culture of entrepreneurship, commercialization, and technology.
“It’s a great time to be in Rapid City,” said B9 Creation's CEO Shon Anderson. “Seeing businesses helping grow other business is something we’re proud to be a part of.”
The Black Hills Business Development Center is ready to launch the Rise of Innovation – being renamed Ascent Innovation. Plans for expanding partnerships with businesses and universities, connecting with more area leaders as resources and launching a new facility are in the works.
For updates on Ascent Innovation and building progress, follow us at ascent-innovation.com.