Entrepreneur coaching available in Brookings

Courtesy photo: Jennifer Quail

BROOKINGS – Entrepreneurs in Brookings now have a resource for helping them discover the business value of their ideas. 

Jennifer Quail, director of entrepreneur support for Brookings Economic Development Corporation, has become a certified coach in the WKI (wendykennedy.com Inc.).

The WKI training and certification program provides coaches with the tools to bridge the gap in understanding between innovators with new ideas and people who are looking to support those ideas. 

Leading science, technology and research-based organizations world-wide have been using the methodology for more than a decade to increase their success rate for ideation, pre-incubation and commercialization.

“The WKI process is a proven practice for helping innovators and entrepreneurs discover, define and describe the business value of their ideas,” said Quail. 

Locally, BEDC has partnered with South Dakota State University for an inaugural project utilizing the WKI process. “Think Tank Thursdays” kicked off on Jan. 24 with a group of committed researchers from the Colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and Engineering. 

This group is specifically interested in identifying precision agriculture projects related to livestock.

“The university is committed to increasing research and commercialization activities at all levels,” said Daniel Scholl, vice president of Division of Research and Economic Development for SDSU. “Think Tank Thursdays” will include eight highly interactive sessions to guide researchers in identifying and refining their ideas, determining customers and competition, and preparing for funding pitches. Faculty will also be competing for seed funding provided by SDSU. While the initial group is focused on livestock, Scholl expects more faculty will utilize the process in the future for other research-related activities.

“By joining forces with BEDC and providing seed funding, SDSU is demonstrating the level of commitment we have in implementing effective strategies for fostering research, innovation and creative activity,” he said.

Anyone interested in learning more about the WKI program or meeting with Quail for a free, confidential consultation about their product or business ideas can call 697-8103 or send an email to [email protected]

BEDC is part of the Brookings Start-up Hub, local organizations supporting ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship in the Brookings region. Visit startupbrookings.com for more information.


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