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June 27, 2018

An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

On June 27, the Rapid City Economic Development Foundation’s branch – the Black Hills Business Development Center – unveiled the Ascent 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 businesses grow in Rapid City. The current building (now called the Ascent Innovation Center) at 525 University St., is currently at maximum occupancy – housing 23 companies. These 23 companies collectively employ 112 FTEs and 51 interns, with an estimated total annual payroll of more than $4.9 million and an average wage of $74,000.

Last summer, an opportunity from Mayor Steve Allender and City Council was presented to acquire the property at 108 E. Main St. – developing a link between the South Dakota School of Mines and 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.

The Black Hills Business Development Center is ready to launch the rise of innovation – renaming ourselves to Ascent Innovation. We are expanding our partnerships with businesses and universities, connecting with more area leaders as resources and launching a new facility.

For updates on Ascent Innovation and building progress, follow us at ascent-innovation.com.

Our Partners

  • Town of Hermosa


  • Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce


  • Visit Spearfish


  • Summerset


  • Whitewood


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