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 was 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.

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 $2 million gift will enable the academy to continue expanding its work and guarantee the future of entrepreneurship at Minot State." 

The university received nearly $1 million matching grant from the North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Grant Program.  The additional funds provide:

  • 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
  • Entrepreneurship major, minor, and certificate. 
  • 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:
    • Entrepreneurship Club, as mechanism through which students learn a format for analyzing start-up business plans; affiliated with national Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization (CEO). 
    • 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
    • Internships
  • Advisory Board composed of successful entrepreneurs to guide and direct the Academy
  • 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

Contact Information

Director - Severson Entrepreneurship Academy

Mr. Randy Conway  
Director, Severson Entrepreneurship Academy
College of Business
Old Main 304  

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