Skip to content
Be seen. Be heard.
"When I look at all the many possible organizations that I would consider worthwhile investments, Minot State University rises to the top," Severson said. "What will come of this investment in the university is a new academy aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and building better business leaders for the present and future needs of Minot and the surrounding region."
— Clint Severson

College of Business

Severson Entrepreneurship Academy

The Severson Entrepreneurship Academy was created as a result of a milestone gift to the Minot State University College of Business on February 9, 2010.

The $1 million donation comes from Clint Severson and Conni Ahart. Severson is chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president of Abaxis, a medical devices company based in northern California. He is the 2007 Forbes Entrepreneur of the Year and a 1973 alumnus of then Minot State College.

Students from all majors can participate in the academy. With the following resources available, students will have the most authentic experience possible as they begin their own business ventures:

  • Curriculum focused on knowledge and skills critical for understanding how to start, maintain, and analyze start-up businesses, with emphasis on managing on-line businesses
  • Entrepreneurship Club, as mechanism through which students learn a format for analyzing start-up business plans; affiliated with national Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization (CEO)
  • Advisory Board composed of successful entrepreneurs to guide and direct the Academy
  • Seed Money Fund available to be awarded to the best student business start-up plans, as selected by students in the Entrepreneurship Club
  • Finance Club to manage the Seed Money Fund; proceeds distributed to the Entrepreneurship Club
  • Resource Room as repository for print and electronic resources and software for understanding and analyzing entrepreneurial ventures; base for conducting research about entrepreneurship in North Dakota

On February 9th 2016, Clint Severson and Conni Ahart and the College of Business announced a historic $2 million gift to the Severson Entrepreneurship Academy.  This is the largest gift in Minot State's history.  "When we made our first gift six years ago, I looked at all the possible organizations that I would consider worthwhile investments, Minot State rose to the top, and that has proven to be true," Severson said.  "Our initial investment in the university created a new academy aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and building better business leaders for the present and future.  This $2million gift will enable the academy to continue expanding its work and guarantee the future of entrepreneurship at Minot State." 

The university will apply for a $1 million matching grant from the North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Grant Program.  With the additional funds students can expect:

  • A Faculty Position for an academically qualified, experienced entrepreneurship professor
  • A Speaker Series and Campus Events to provide live case studies and promote entrepreneurship in North Dakota
  • Plans for a new Entrepreneurship major and minor

Contact Information

ChuckBarney

Mr. Chuck Barney 
Director, Severson Entrepreneurship Academy
College of Business
Old Main 310C
chuck.barney@minotstateu.edu

Phone: 701-858-3019
Toll Free: 1-800-777-0750 ext. 3025
Fax: 701-858-3438

B.S. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester NY
M.S. Indiana University, Bloomington IN