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USD Beacom School of Business Adds Three to Entrepreneur Program

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The Beacom School of Business at the University of South Dakota has added three successful entrepreneurs -- Rich Naser, Tom Stengrim and Brian Gramm -- to its Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) program to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial ventures in the state of South Dakota.

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

Naser serves as president of the South Dakota Technology Business Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and of the research park at USD Discovery District and also directs Forward Sioux Falls Research, Technology and Entrepreneurship initiatives. Stengrim is vice president of the South Dakota Technology Business Center and previously ran his own insurance agency. 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.

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


USD's Beacom School of Business was established in 1927 and has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1949. The leading business school in the region, Beacom’s programs are consistently ranked among the top business schools in the nation by Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and others for its high-quality learning experience, student success, affordability, and high-caliber of faculty and students. Whether a student chooses face-to-face or online courses, Beacom’s programs emphasize real-world experience through professional organizations, quality internships and capstone projects.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News