Barbara Zwetzig
For many scientists, engineers and researchers, producing an innovative idea is the easy part. Articulating that idea in a business language; however, can prove difficult. 

Barbara Zwetzig, director for the Center for Business, Entrepreneurship & Tourism at Black Hills State University, recently received training and certification as a coach for Wendy Kennedy’s “So What? Who Cares? Why You?” methodology, a proven system to find the business value inside innovation.

“The methodology is applicable to just about any business idea,” according to Zwetzig. Science and technology innovators often know how to talk about their “product” in technical terms, but the coaching enables them to represent their discovery to business people and investors, she said.

“My hope is that the program will be of assistance to BHSU faculty researchers,” Zwetzig said.

The methodology was developed by Wendy Kennedy, a seasoned technology industry executive who has spent more than 20 years on the business side of founder-led, technology start-up companies that delivered new and novel ideas to the market. Her approach provides a practical hands-on set of tools and frameworks to help researchers, scientists and technology entrepreneurs discover and communicate the business value of their innovations.

Zwetzig, who was coached by Wendy Kennedy, believes she is the first and only certified coach in South Dakota. “My coaching services will be available to anyone with a business idea to develop through the Black Hills Virtual Business Incubator Program (BH VIP) launched this past spring.” The BH VIP is a local program that helps entrepreneurs turn their ideas into viable businesses.

Coaching can be one-on-one, but the program also works well in workshops of about six, she said. The nine-week program meets weekly.

During the training, Zwetzig said Kennedy told a story about a scientist who, after two years, was able to go home and tell his wife, in away she could understand, what his innovation was all about.

For more information, contact Barbara.Zwetzig@BHSU.edu or call605-642-6276