Milestone donation to College of Business will start an Entrepreneurship Academy at Minot State
The Minot State University College of Business announced a milestone gift today (Feb. 9), from an alumnus whose decision to give back to the university and region will help Minot State produce stronger entrepreneurs.
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.
"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."
"The Severson Entrepreneurship Academy will involve several components that enhance entrepreneurship learning for our students and provide tools for our community to use," MSU President David Fuller said. "Words cannot express how grateful we are to Clint and Conni for their generous donation to Minot State and the College of Business."
The new Severson Entrepreneurship Academy will provide unique opportunities for both students and the community. The program will use existing College of Business courses to teach multi-disciplinary classes related to the creative process of building a business. Within the structure of a new club, students will help write, analyze and evaluate business plans, both those from students and, eventually, from community members. This new entrepreneurship club will also give seed money to those student business plans that are exceptional. This will provide young entrepreneurs with an authentic experience to begin their own business ventures. In addition, a resource center related to the needs of entrepreneurs and a speaker series will be part of the Severson Entrepreneurship Academy.
The Severson donation is the largest such gift to the College of Business and includes funds to hire a faculty member to manage the academy. This individual will be a champion for the academy, with knowledge and experience in entrepreneurship and strong capability to instruct, lead and guide students, as well as to interact with the business community.
Today’s announcement of the $1 million donation included a luncheon for Minot-area leaders to learn more about the Severson Entrepreneurship Academy and a College of Business celebration for students and faculty to show their appreciation to Severson and Ahart.