Minot State graduate named Forbes Entrepreneur of the Year
Minot State University graduate Clint Severson '73, was recently named Forbes magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year. Severson was given the award for his overwhelming success with Abaxis, a company that seemed destined for failure, and its flagship product, the Piccolo.
The Piccolo is a device designed to run a large variety of different blood tests from a relatively small amount of blood taken from a finger or arm. This allows physicians to not only quickly diagnose problems patients may be having, but also cuts back greatly on the cost, machinery, and personnel typically necessary for all the different kinds of blood work usually performed.
However, despite having an innovative and money-saving product, Abaxis was unable to successfully sell or manufacture Piccolo and risked bankruptcy until Severson joined the company. Once he took control, Severson turned it all around by finding cheaper and easier ways of manufacturing the Piccolo, by overcoming a much larger competitor, and by securing numerous buyers for the device.
Abaxis, based in Union City, Calif., was losing $6 million a year when Severson was hired. Last year, they profited $11 million off of sales worth $89 million. This achievement led to Severson being named Forbes Entrepreneur of the Year.