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.