- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
Aug. 3, 2020
This paid piece is sponsored by Dakota State University.
Accelerating economic development through business innovation, workforce growth and high-tech job increases. That’s the goal of the new Cyber Incubator and Economic Development Center, or CIEC, at Dakota State University. And the school is looking for a leader to help guide new ideas, research and businesses that will stimulate economic development in Madison, the region and in South Dakota.
“The Cyber Incubator is the next natural step in DSU’s MadLabs research initiative as it will allow our faculty and students to not only conduct applied research and development but now provide them with resources and assistance to commercialize that work into high-growth technology companies,” said Josh Pauli, vice president for research and economic development.
The new director of economic development will support faculty, staff, students and external partners in launching research-based initiatives that actively contribute to local and regional economic growth.
The vision is that the CIEC will create a place for innovation to start and flourish. It will be a point of convergence for innovative ideas and projects, and a catalyst to move them from concept to creation to competitive businesses that will energize economic growth.
“Supporting faculty and students to create new high-tech businesses provides another source of economic activity in the state,” Pauli said.
“As we ramp up our federally funded portfolio of research at DSU, it’s also important to diversify our efforts with spinoff businesses. It’s one of the goals of not only DSU but also the Board of Regents and the governor.”
Once hired, the economic development director will develop the path for the CIEC, including managing pilot programming while creating measurable growth of the university’s research-based contributions to the local and regional startup ecosystem.
Dakota State received state funding as startup resources for the CIEC. The state’s contribution to the budget will help pay for the first year of the program and smaller portions of the budget for the second and third years. During those three years, the CIEC will develop revenue sources through spinoff businesses that will increase university revenue from several areas:
The talents and skills of DSU faculty, staff and students will help develop and advance the innovative ideas in the CIEC that will help fund the center in the future. This also will raise the level of the area’s workforce by providing skilled DSU graduates and others the ability to stay and work in Madison while drawing professionals from other areas into the Madison area to fill jobs at new, cutting-edge companies.
Through the CIEC, previously established MadLabs research clusters and entrepreneurial students will have access to professional expertise, physical space and shared administrative services to accelerate their progress toward business creation and development.
The expertise available to entrepreneurs includes faculty and staff with high-level knowledge in cyber-intensive fields. Additionally, other experts at DSU are available to help with writing grant applications and contracts, marketing, finance, and library assistance and access to information.
“The cyber infrastructure at DSU is cutting edge and robust due to the advanced programs offered at DSU and the MadLabs,” Pauli said. “These cyber resources will be available to the DSU CIEC entrepreneurs, which will also provide the speed and bandwidth necessary to access national and international resources.”
The CIEC will be housed in the former Heartland Tech Center north of DSU’s athletic fields. The center was acquired by the DSU Foundation to provide office and maker space, conference rooms, collaboration spaces and shared administrative services. Access to office equipment, reception, after-hours access, parking and other communications services will be available as well.
While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the year ahead is unknown, Pauli has goals in mind for the first year of the CIEC.
“I anticipate the first year to be dedicated to finding a new director to be part of a tremendous research affairs team at DSU, establishing the Cyber Incubator programs that best support our faculty and students, and integrating into the statewide network of resources that will be crucial to the success of the Cyber Incubator,” he said.
Now hiring: The first leader for the newly formed Cyber Incubator and Economic Development Center at DSU.