What's Growing in South Dakota? Why Recent Grads Are Choosing To Stay

Meet America’s fastest-growing area of entrepreneurial activity--with a 69% increase between 2010 and 2011, according to the latest available Kauffman Foundation data. Some explanations from locals:

"We're a no-risk, no-return culture. Just look at farming. [...] People discovered they don't have to leave for San Francisco. Now they can stay to collaborate here."
--Jeff Slobotski
Cofounder, Silicon Prairie News

"The youth equation shifted: College grads once fled; now they stay or move back. [...] The governor is pushing to increase entrepreneur education--for grade school, college, and beyond."
--Mel Ustad
Director of commercialization, Governor's Office of Economic Development

"South Dakota State University's 44,000-square-foot Innovation Center has become the infrastructure that startups craved."
--Dwaine Chapel
CEO, Research Park and Innovation Center at SDSU

"Other states may be dense with people. We're dense with personal relationships."
--Scott Meyer
Cofounder, 9 Clouds

[Illustration by Kyle Bean; photo by Mitch Payne]

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