Ranjit Koodali, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School, co-director of USD-N3 and professor of chemistry, helped organize the one-day workshop because he saw a need to prepare graduate students for a variety of careers.

“Most of the training and course work is geared towards graduate students going into academia, but there are so few jobs in that sector,” Koodali said. “We needed to think of a training model that would prepare graduate students and provide them with transferrable skills during their graduate education so that they have the credentials, knowledge, expertise and the tools to be successful in any career path they choose.”

The workshop offered training in entrepreneurship, funding and grants, intellectual property and patenting and private fundraising. This helps researchers from all disciplines learn the process to commercialize their research, while also educating them of the state’s resources for new business development, said Venky Venkatachalam, Ph.D., dean of the Beacom School of Business.

"Beacom School of Business is deeply committed to entrepreneurship and economic development in the state of South Dakota.  This boot camp is critically important for scientists and technical experts to understand the 'business side' of technological innovations so that ideas-to-market explorations can be successful," Venkatachalam said. 

“There are a lot of organizations in South Dakota that are deeply interested in growing the economy, and we are interested in making the connections with these entities and leaders by partnering with them,” Koodali added.

Koodali and Venkatachalam plan to expand the workshop in future years by incorporating other public universities in South Dakota and nationwide.

“Our goal is to build upon this Entrepreneurship Boot Camp and involve greater participation of graduate students, so when they graduate, they have the knowledge and connections necessary to build their own companies in South Dakota,” Koodali said.

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