Ideation to Commercialization – Entrepreneur Coaching Now Available in Brookings

  • BEDC partnering with SDSU to identify the business value of new innovations

Many new ideas and innovations have great potential, but how do people determine the real world impact their ideas could have?

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 (BEDC) has become a certified coach in the WKI (wendykennedy.com inc.) “So What? Who Cares? Why You?” methodology for translating ideas into opportunities.

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. “I am excited to offer this exclusive methodology and level of support to local innovators to help them realize the full potential of their product and business ideas.”

Locally, BEDC has partnered with South Dakota State University (SDSU) for an inaugural project utilizing the WKI process. “Think Tank Thursdays” kicked off on January 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. “Our goal is to take this faculty group through the WKI process to determine and develop concepts that have a high probability of success and securing funding for those ideas.”

“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.

“I am looking forward to working with the SDSU researchers to see what the next big idea will be,” said Quail. “We hope this initial program will be just the beginning of many start-up and commercialization projects to churn out of SDSU and the Brookings region.”

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 605-697-8103 or send an email to jennifer@brookingsedc.com.  

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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