Senate Bill proposes to buy $6M startup space to grow Rapid City businesses

Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 3:34 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - A bill proposing to buy the Ascent Innovation Center will officially make the facility apart of the South Dakota School of Mines campus as an effort to continue to develop more jobs in Rapid City.

The 40,000-square-foot facility is another place for entrepreneurs and tech-savvy people to kick start their business. state representative Chris Johnson (R-Rapid City) says he is more than happy to sponsor SB 158, which funds the $6 million development.

The Ascent Innovation Center located on the School of Mines campus has been a local hub for people to work on their business.

“Through the wonderful developments of Ascent Innovation, we’ve had just in the last few years, almost 400 jobs created from School of Mines students who went on to work in an incubator environment,” Johnson said. “Creating their businesses and developing them right here in Rapid City,”

In 2006, the incubator went under the name Black Hills Business Development Center with advanced manufacturing, guidance and relationships necessary to launch, realize and grow businesses.

Johnson says Ascent Innovation will help Rapid City grow. Within one short year, there were 34 people occupying one-third of the building. Now, over 30 companies have made this building their home, several have graduated and nearly 400 jobs have been a result of the innovation in our space.

“To help us with economic development and just blossom out as a city and so when I was asked to carry this bill, I gladly took it on because its fits perfectly for what my personal desires are for Rapid City.”

The new incubator will be across from Rapid City’s main post office.

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