Mines News

Release Date Friday, October 28, 2016

Entrepreneur-in-Residence Haar Recognized for Enterprise

Darren Haar, head Entrepreneur-in-Residence at South Dakota School of Mines, addresses Thursday's Leadership Rapid City class at the Black Hills Business Development Center on campus.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (Oct. 28, 2016) – Entrepreneur-in-Residence Darren Haar recently received the Spirit of Enterprise award recognizing personal commitment, dedication and achievement in entrepreneurship.

Haar was honored during the Innovation Expo, which focuses on connecting entrepreneurs, innovators, angel investors, venture capitalists and others involved in start-up companies.

The award honors someone who is directly responsible for helping shape the entrepreneurial culture of South Dakota. 

Haar is a visionary business leader with a proven track record of driving growth and managing change in a diverse set of business environments in Asia, Europe and the Americas. He is able to quickly establish strategic direction, identify areas for growth, reduce cost and develop a strong leadership team.

Haar returned to the Black Hills a couple of years ago, most recently having served as DuPont’s global business director, Microcircuit Materials. At South Dakota School of Mines, Haar volunteers as head Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR), working with faculty researchers and students to take the university’s technology into the marketplace. He helped launch and sponsor the Black Hills student business plan competition on campus, now in its third year. Haar has also represented the School of Mines as a member of Stanford’s Epicenter Pathways to Innovation, a national effort to promote innovation and entrepreneurship on our nation’s campuses, and has acted as a National Science Foundation iCORPS mentor.

He launched two angel funds to assist local entrepreneurs in gaining access to capital, currently serves as the chairman of the Black Hills Regional Angel Fund and is an active member of the mayor’s economic development task force. Haar is also a board member of the Rapid City economic development partnership.

“It’s impossible to be around Darren Haar and not be enthusiastic about entrepreneurship. We love having him working with our students and faculty on the campus and linking us to the business and start-up community,” said South Dakota School of Mines President Heather Wilson.

Additionally, Haar leads the effort to build a tech park/incubator in Rapid City, sits on numerous start-up boards and participated as a statewide delegate in an EPSCOR effort to enhance innovation and entrepreneurship surrounding federally funded research. He runs his own small company and launched a campaign to create 1,000 tech jobs in the Rapid City area (TECH 1K).

“If there was only one word I could use to describe this guy’s drive and best quality that word would be passion, passion to help the community progress, grow and innovate. He really cares about making a difference in our community,” said Ben Snow, president of Rapid City Economic Development Partnership. 

The Spirit of Enterprise award is given by the Enterprise Institute and is sponsored by the Rushmore Region Alliance. 


About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,778 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $61,300. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Fran LeFort, (605) 394-6082, Fran.LeFort@sdsmt.edu

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