BHSU takes second place in business plan competition

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, January 9, 2018/Categories: Events, Students, Alumni, Awards, College of Business and Natural Sciences, Community

Trevor Plett, Black Hills State University MBA alumni, and John Herrera, current BHSU MBA student, placed second in the SD Mines Competitive Entrepreneurial Opportunity Student Business Plan Competition. This annual competition introduces South Dakota college students to entrepreneurship by providing training, mentors, and the opportunity to pitch their ideas for a cash prize.

This year, Plett and Herrera presented a business plan for Rushmore Drones, a company they co-founded in Jan. 2017.

After 10 years of working in banking and finance, Plett noticed an opportunity in the growing and commercializing drone technology services industry. Plett and Herrera partnered to create a business that would make data collection cheaper and safer.

“We can accomplish a lot of difficult tasks without putting people in high-risk situations,” Plett says. “We feel that anytime you can reduce cost and improve safety, there is a strong business case for that technological use.”

The most innovative project Rushmore Drones has been able to tackle was inspecting the entire perimeter of the Minnesota Viking’s U.S. Bank Stadium. By taking on large-scale projects like this, Plett and Herrera are making strides towards their future goals for Rushmore Drones, which includes a partnership with Measure, the nation’s leading drone service company.

“Our goal is to professionalize. We need to stand out from anyone else who can enter the market by having the best certifications and best training the skills to make us the premiere drone service provider in the region,” says Plett. “Measure provides training. They want Fortune 500 companies as well as local contractors and engineers to feel comfortable using our services and knowing that we are certified, ensured, and capable of handling complicated projects.”

Entering the competition allowed this team to recreate and refocus their company’s business plan.

“It gave us structure for what the business plan was supposed to entail, an executive summary of financial projections, market analysis, and operating strategy,” says Herrera. “It gave us a good instruction of how they wanted it outlined.”

The team was given seven minutes to present their business plan to a panel of judges before a three-minute question and session. They also featured one of their drones as part of the presentation.

“What gave us an edge in the competition was that both John and I had already had a lot of experience writing marketing and business plans for our BHSU MBA program,” says Plett. “For us to write another business plan didn’t seem very intimidating.”

 “Whether it’s marketing, accounting or strategic planning, these are all skills you need to run a business. At BHSU, you learn it all first-hand,” says Plett. “Professors Don Looney and Jeff Wehrung were great resources, helping us review the business plan and give us feedback.”

With the second place finish the team earned $2,000 in the overall competition. Additionally, they were awarded the Agriculture Industry prize, $1,000, from Sioux Steel Company for making the best business case in agriculture with their crop scouting and plant health detection services.

I would encourage other students to participate in this competition,” says Herrera. “It was a great learning experience and, of course, there is the opportunity for cash prizes which can boost your company.”
Print

Number of views (855)/Comments (0)

x

South Dakota Stock Market Game announces top teams for the spring trading session

BHSU Communications 0 1370
The spring session of the South Dakota Stock Market Game (SDSMG), operated by the Black Hills State University Center for Economic Education, concluded its 10-week trading session on recently with 453 students from 23 South Dakota schools participating. BHSU student Raven Jorgensen, business administration-management and public accountancy major from Kadoka, won the College division.

BHSU student wins S.D. Bandmasters Association instrumental music scholarship

BHSU Communications 0 331
Sarah Rathert wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a teacher. She’s getting help along the way from the South Dakota Bandmasters Association (SDBA) who recently selected Sarah as a recipient of their annual instrumental music scholarship. Originally from Sturgis, Sarah heard about the SDBA scholarship from one of her professors at BHSU, Dr. David Berberick, assistant professor of music.

University faculty from Slovenia visit BHSU to increase partnership opportunities

BHSU Communications 0 503
Two faculty from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, Dr. Miro Haček and Dr. Simona Kukovič, visited Black Hills State University recently to discuss further partnership opportunities with the BHSU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. Haček and Kukovič met with Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., President of BHSU, Dr. Chris Crawford, provost and vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Sharman Adams, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, and Dr. Trenton Ellis, assistant professor of human services.
 

Artifacts from WWII training at BH Teachers College to be donated to BHSU

21 May 2018

Artifacts from WWII training at BH Teachers College to be donated to BHSU

During World War II, Black Hills State University, then known as Black Hills Teachers College (BHTC), became a training ground for the U.S. air power needed to win the war. Now, artifacts from that time in the University’s history will return to campus through a gift from Terry Neil King of Barrington, Ill.
 

South Dakota Stock Market Game announces top teams for the spring trading session

18 May 2018

South Dakota Stock Market Game announces top teams for the spring trading session

The spring session of the South Dakota Stock Market Game (SDSMG), operated by the Black Hills State University Center for Economic Education, concluded its 10-week trading session on recently with 453 students from 23 South Dakota schools participating. BHSU student Raven Jorgensen, business administration-management and public accountancy major from Kadoka, won the College division.

BHSU students earn degrees during 2018 spring commencement ceremony

11 May 2018

BHSU students earn degrees during 2018 spring commencement ceremony

Nearly 390 Black Hills State University candidates for graduation were awarded master, bachelor, associate degrees during the University’s 175th Commencement Ceremony this month.
 

BHSU student wins S.D. Bandmasters Association instrumental music scholarship

8 May 2018

BHSU student wins S.D. Bandmasters Association instrumental music scholarship

Sarah Rathert wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a teacher. She’s getting help along the way from the South Dakota Bandmasters Association (SDBA) who recently selected Sarah as a recipient of their annual instrumental music scholarship. Originally from Sturgis, Sarah heard about the SDBA scholarship from one of her professors at BHSU, Dr. David Berberick, assistant professor of music.

University faculty from Slovenia visit BHSU to increase partnership opportunities

8 May 2018

University faculty from Slovenia visit BHSU to increase partnership opportunities

Two faculty from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, Dr. Miro Haček and Dr. Simona Kukovič, visited Black Hills State University recently to discuss further partnership opportunities with the BHSU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. Haček and Kukovič met with Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., President of BHSU, Dr. Chris Crawford, provost and vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Sharman Adams, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, and Dr. Trenton Ellis, assistant professor of human services.
 

Drone company soars out of BHSU-Rapid City MBA program

7 May 2018

Drone company soars out of BHSU-Rapid City MBA program

At Black Hills State University-Rapid City, two students turned an economics discussion into an emergent drone services company. Trevor Plett, Black Hills State University MBA alumni, and John Herrera, BHSU MBA student who graduated May 5, come from drastically different academic backgrounds—banking and medicine—but met through the MBA in Applied Management program at BHSU-RC. Plett and Herrera recently founded Rushmore Drones in April 2017.
 

6 questions with 6 BHSU grads: Sierra Concha

3 May 2018

6 questions with 6 BHSU grads: Sierra Concha

Full-time jobs, travels across the world, and advanced degrees. In this series “6 questions with 6 grads,” Black Hills State University will highlight the future plans of some of the University’s May 2018 graduates. Sierra Concha, English major from Pine Ridge, was hired to be a kindergarten teacher on the Reservation and looks forward to providing high quality education in the Lakota language.
 

6 questions with 6 BHSU grads: Madison Jilek

3 May 2018

6 questions with 6 BHSU grads: Madison Jilek

Full-time jobs, travels across the world, and advanced degrees. In this series “6 questions with 6 grads,” Black Hills State University will highlight the future plans of some of the University’s May 2018 graduates. Madison Jilek, physical science and chemistry major from Spearfish, will begin her Ph.D. studies at the University of Colorado Boulder this fall.

 

6 questions with 6 BHSU grads: Walter Bordewyk

3 May 2018

6 questions with 6 BHSU grads: Walter Bordewyk

Full-time jobs, travels across the world, and advanced degrees. In this series “6 questions with 6 grads,” Black Hills State University will highlight the future plans of some of the University’s May 2018 graduates. Walter Bordewyk, outdoor education major from Fort Collins, Colo., will travel to Asia with the Campus Ventures ministry.

Local organizations benefit from strategic marketing plans created by BHSU-Rapid City MBA students

3 May 2018

Local organizations benefit from strategic marketing plans created by BHSU-Rapid City MBA students

Graduate business students at Black Hills State University-Rapid City (BHSU-RC) recently presented extensive market research and strategic marketing plans for local organizations, including the Rapid City Police Department, Dunn Bros Coffee, and South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Division of Wildlife. This community-based project allowed BHSU-RC MBA students to use their education as a resource for Black Hills businesses.

BHSU-RC student and mother of two pursues a degree alongside her children

3 May 2018

BHSU-RC student and mother of two pursues a degree alongside her children

Julie Penney, business administration and management major at Black Hills State University-Rapid City, has wanted to get her business degree since the day she graduated high school in 1988. After sending both of her children to college to achieve their degrees, she decided it was her turn. Now, Julie is on track to earn her diploma from BHSU-RC in May 2019.

First annual Women in Science Conference to be held at BHSU

3 May 2018

First annual Women in Science Conference to be held at BHSU

The Black Hills State University Women in Science Group will hold its first annual Women in Science Conference at BHSU in Spearfish Wednesday, May 9. The goal of this free one-day conference is to encourage middle school girls to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

6 questions with 6 BHSU Grads: D’Aryn Lends His Horse

30 April 2018

6 questions with 6 BHSU Grads: D’Aryn Lends His Horse

Full-time jobs, travels across the world, and advanced degrees. In this series “6 questions with 6 grads,” Black Hills State University will highlight the future plans of some of the University’s May 2018 graduates. After graduation, D’Aryn Lends His Horse, chemistry major from Eagle Butte, S.D., will pursue her goal of becoming a pharmacist. She was accepted into pharmacy school in Colorado.

6 questions with 6 BHSU grads: Gavin Brucklacher

30 April 2018

6 questions with 6 BHSU grads: Gavin Brucklacher

Full-time jobs, travels across the world, and advanced degrees. In this series “6 questions with 6 grads,” Black Hills State University will highlight the future plans of some of the University’s May 2018 graduates. Gavin Brucklacher, business administration major from Philip, S.D., turned a successful internship for college credit at First National Bank into a full-time job opportunity. 
 

BHSU-RC student traces his journey from Puerto Rican police force to KOTA news producer

30 April 2018

BHSU-RC student traces his journey from Puerto Rican police force to KOTA news producer

Jose Morales, who has been taking classes at Black Hills State University–Rapid City and will graduate with his bachelor’s degree in mass communications this week, is a long way from his hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In the KBHU TV studio at BHSU, Jose Morales took a moment to turn off the camera and retrace the steps that brought him from Puerto Rico to Rapid City.