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Severson Entrepreneurship Academy


The Severson Entrepreneurship Academy (SEA) is the premier entrepreneurial incubator in western North Dakota. Through a variety of program options, scholarships, internships, and club opportunities, students are given the tools to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

The SEA was created thanks to a milestone gift to Minot State University 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 was the 2007 Forbes Entrepreneur of the Year and a 1973 alumnus of then Minot State College. 

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 at Minot State." 


Conni Ahart and Clint Severson

Program Highlights


Entrepreneurship Program

Students are empowered to pursue an entrepreneurship major, minor, and certificate. Through rigorous coursework, hands-on experiences, and mentorship, students acquire essential business skills while cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset. 

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The Entrepreneurial Perspective

Through an inspiring speaker series, we aim to offer dynamic live case studies, ignite the entrepreneurial spirit, and foster a culture of innovation and growth in North Dakota.

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The Academy has numerous scholarships available for incoming students pursuing a degree in entrepreneurship. There are also scholarships for students within the program awarded based on involvement with the SEA program.

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Finance Club

The Finance Club, guided by Mr. Jerry Stai, manages a seed money fund created through the generosity of Clint Severson and Conni Ahart. Proceeds are distributed to the Entrepreneurship Club for operating expenses.

Student Opportunities

Community Outreach

The Severson Entrepreneurship Academy is dedicated to developing and fostering a strong community outreach program that connects community leaders and business owners to the students and faculty at Minot State University.



MSU students are the future workforce of our region. Our primary goal through internship is to connect students with strong career experiences and opportunities. Randy Conway, Director of SEA, works one on one with students to find the perfect opportunity for their career goals.


Advisory Board

Our board is composed of successful entrepreneurs from around the region providing expertise to guide and direct the academy forward.



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