Elevate Rapid City


Rapid City, SD

Project Name

Elevate STEMpreneurship Program of the Black Hills

Award Amount

Federal Share: $100,494
Local Match: $100,494

This EDA investment will support the Elevate STEMpreneurship Program of the Black Hills (Elevate), which will enhance the existing ecosystem by providing consulting services and mentorship to STEM entrepreneurs in the region. By closing the guidance and resource gaps faced by early-stage startups, Elevate seeks to spur the growth of technology companies, foster job creation, and grow the local economy.

The program targets startups graduating from Wildfire Labs, the region's software accelerator, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology alumni, and other early-stage technology startups. Elevate plans to recruit 30 participants and 5-6 mentors for CEO training sessions to deliver personalized support to participating businesses. Additionally, the program aims to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion by actively engaging historically underserved populations in the technology sector.

The desired outcomes of the program include developing a comprehensive entrepreneurial system, creating a resource navigation site for startups, and fostering the creation of five new technology startups in the next two years. The success of the program will be measured by feedback from participants, site usage, and the sustained growth of startups. Ultimately, Elevate STEMpreneurship Program of the Black Hills is poised to drive innovation, create opportunities for startups, and position Rapid City as a dynamic tech hub within the region, shaping a promising future for entrepreneurship and economic growth.