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.”
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Black Hills Food Hub receives Micropolitan Award at the 99th annual Spearfish Chamber Banquet and Awards Ceremony

16 February 2018

Black Hills Food Hub receives Micropolitan Award at the 99th annual Spearfish Chamber Banquet and Awards Ceremony

Black Hills Food Hub, an entity that has evolved to offer locally grown food from about 24 local producers to five cafeterias and restaurants in the region, received the Micropolitan Award at the 99th annual Spearfish Chamber Banquet and Awards Ceremony at the Spearfish Holiday Inn and Convention Center.

BHSU student athlete will represent Scotland in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

16 February 2018

BHSU student athlete will represent Scotland in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

Fraser Malcolm, physical education major at Black Hills State University and number 24 on the Yellow Jacket men’s basketball team, has been selected to represent his home nation in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Malcolm will join the 12-man team from Scotland for the international basketball tournament in Queensland, Australia, in April.

The Commonwealth Games is an annual, multi-sport event that draws teams from the 53 member states of the Commonwealth of Nations, including Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales. 

Malcolm, originally from Falkirk, Scotland, has played for teams in Scotland, Britain, Iceland, and the United States. He says he’s been hoping for the opportunity to represent Scotland in the Commonwealth Games for a long time.
 

Geek Speak explores creative relationships between mathematics and poetry

9 February 2018

Geek Speak explores creative relationships between mathematics and poetry

Right and left brains collide this Thursday as two professors from seemingly contrasting areas of study combine their passions to create intricately structured art.

In their Geek Speak, “Fano-Plane and Di-Graph Poetics: Intersections of Math and Poetry,” Dr. Dan May, assistant professor of mathematics, and Dr. Courtney Huse Wika, associate professor of English and director of the University Honors Program, will show their creative approach to blending mathematics and poetry. This speak will be held Thursday, Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. in Jonas 305. All Geek Speaks are free and open to the public.
 

Upcoming Geek Speak explores wilderness ordeals as spectacle

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In his Geek Speak, “America’s Favorite Carnage: Selling Wilderness Ordeals as Spectacle,” Dr. Tim Steckline, professor of speech at BHSU, will explore the pervasiveness of spectacle in our society according Situationist theory. This speak will be held Thursday, Feb. 8 at 4 p.m. in Jonas 305. All Geek Speaks are free and open to the public.
 

BHSU Department of Music announces spring concert schedule

2 February 2018

BHSU Department of Music announces spring concert schedule

The hallways of Clare and Josef Meier Hall echo as student and faculty musicians rehearse for the Black Hills State University spring concerts which include student senior recitals, concerts, faculty recitals, a trumpet day, and the first ever guest appearance of the traveling U.S. Air Force Academy Band – Academy Winds. The BHSU Department of Music invites the community to enjoy the upcoming events.

All concerts, unless otherwise noted, are free, open to the public, and located in the Clare and Joseph Meier Recital Hall.
The spring events will commence with the United State Air Force Academy Band – Academy Winds from Colorado Springs, Colo., performance Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. This group tours the country as part of the military’s community outreach, and this will be their first visit to BHSU.

SDSMG spring trading session begins Feb. 5

2 February 2018

SDSMG spring trading session begins Feb. 5

Teachers may now register for the spring session of the South Dakota Stock Market Game Program (SDSMG.) The spring session begins Monday, Feb. 5 and ends its 10-week trading period Friday, April 20.

The SDSMG is a real-time online stock market simulation where teams of students research and purchase a portfolio of stocks. Students compete for cash prizes in the middle school, high school, and college divisions. Teachers receive weekly newsletters and online training to integrate the program into a variety of grade levels and subjects. The SDSMG program is the only online stock simulation program endorsed by the South Dakota Council on Economic Education.

Renowned photographer and BHSU alum returns to present his work and expertise

31 January 2018

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Adventure sport and climbing photographer Jeremiah Watt will give a free public presentation at Black Hills State University Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 5 p.m.

Watt is a 2005 BHSU photography program alum. In 2012, he earned a master of fine arts in photography from the University of Utah. Recent photographic projects have taken him to France, Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina, and Belize. He is currently based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Watt is a lively and engaging speaker who enjoys sharing his tales of adventure with others. His matter-of-fact and direct approach to climbing, the outdoors, and photography is inspirational. There will be time following his presentation for questions and comments.

Geek Speak explores the allure of modern-day Berlin

31 January 2018

Geek Speak explores the allure of modern-day Berlin

In his Geek Speak, “Berlin Now: A Portrait of a City after the Wall,” Dr. Adam Blackler, assistant professor of history at BHSU, will attempt to explain why Berlin has become one of the most popular cities in the world. The public has two opportunities to engage in this speak: Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. at the Jacket Zone in downtown Spearfish and Thursday, Feb. at 4 p.m. in Jonas 110. All Geek Speaks are free and open to the public.

South Dakota Entrepreneur & Philanthropist, T. Denny Sanford Gifts $30 Million to the Horatio Alger Association Endowment – Its Largest Single Gift Ever Received

30 January 2018

South Dakota Entrepreneur & Philanthropist, T. Denny Sanford Gifts $30 Million to the Horatio Alger Association Endowment – Its Largest Single Gift Ever Received

Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced receipt of a $30 million endowment gift from T. Denny Sanford, Horatio Alger Association Member and chairman of the board for United National Corporation, the holding company for First PREMIER Bank and PREMIER Bankcard, headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This transformative gift is the largest single donation ever received by the Association since its inception in 1947.

BHSU announces South Dakota Stock Market Game top teams for fall trading session

19 January 2018

BHSU announces South Dakota Stock Market Game top teams for fall trading session

The 2017 fall session of the South Dakota Stock Market Game (SDSMG) hosted by Black Hills State University concluded with students at Mellette Middle School, Rapid City Stevens High School, and BHSU taking top honors. During this session, 362 students from 20 South Dakota schools formed 160 teams of stock market investors. Each team received a hypothetical $100,000 to perform online investing in real-time stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

BHSU mass communication major Micalyn Parry, from Chino, Ariz., won the college division with a final portfolio value of $115,833. This was the highest portfolio in South Dakota., with a return on investment of 15.8 percent in ten weeks. Parry participated in the program as part of her survey of business course.