Mines News

Release Date Thursday, April 27, 2017

SD Mines Teams Win Governor’s Giant Vision Business Plan Competition

Henry Wegehaupt, SD Mines senior in electrical engineering receiving his award from South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard and David Owen with the SD Chamber of Commerce.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (April 27, 2017) – South Dakota School of Mines & Technology earned top honors in the Governor’s Giant Vision Business Competition in Sioux Falls. Mines teams again won both the business and student divisions at the annual competition.

“The Governor’s Giant Vision Competition gives a boost to student and faculty entrepreneurs who seek to move their innovations from the lab to the marketplace. These teams from SD Mines show that investment in higher education and investment in research and development can translate to high paying jobs and economic growth,” said Mines President Heather Wilson. 

NP Systems Integration with Daniel Stanton, a Mines Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), won first place, and the $20,000 prize, in the business division. 

NP Systems Integration, LLC (NPSI) is a South Dakota tech startup that was created in collaboration with Mines researchers. “Our founders have extensive experience in supply chain management and the supply chain technology industry. Our research partner is The Center for Security Printing and Anti-Counterfeiting Technology (SPACT),” said Stanton. Since 2009, SPACT has received more than $1 million in research funding to develop an innovative new system for securely marking products using nanotechnology. “NPSI and SPACT have leveraged this research to create an anti-counterfeiting platform that is secure, flexible, and affordable. This technology will be marketed under the brand name SecureMarking™,” Stanton added.

Mines professors involved in NP Systems include Jon Kellar, P.h.D., and William Cross, Ph.D. who originated the project with Stan May, Ph.D., of USD. The researchers who did most of the experimentation and development include Jeevan Meruga, Ph.D., and Mr. David Langerman (CENG 2017), Mr. Julian Brackins (BS CSC 2015, MS CSC 2017), Mr. John Rapp (ME 2017) and Mr. John Hillard (ME, 2019).

"We have been very fortunate to have such an excellent group of students, several of whom are graduating this semester and I think they are highly deserving of recognition." said Cross.

Provender, a company started by Mines student Henry Wegehaupt, a senior in electrical engineering, tied for first place in the student division. Wegehaupt invented an automatic cattle feeder. The machine is designed to save livestock growers labor, time and money.  

Mines students, Scyller Borglum, Zack Malone, took home the $3,000 prize for 3rd place with their business South Dakota Refining Company. The business plans to build a next-generation oil refinery in eastern South Dakota.

The awards were presented as part of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development banquet with Governor Dennis Daugaard presenting the top prizes. Governor Daugaard also recognized the SD Mines Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) for mentoring and supporting the Giant Vision Business Competition. In recent years, the EIR, made up of 30 successful entrepreneurs and businesses people, have voluntarily mentored the Giant Vision winning teams. They continue to support these entrepreneurs as they grow their business ventures in South Dakota.

 Winners from SD Mines included the following people and businesses:

Business Division

1st, $20,000 prize, NPSI, Daniel Stanton, Mines EIR 

Student Division

1st (tied) $4,500 prize, Provender, Henry Wegehaupt, a senior in electrical engineering

3rd $3000 prize, South Dakota Refining Company, Scyller Borglum, a P.hD. candidate in geology, and Johnathon Malone (Zack) a senior in geological engineering.

Mines student finalists in the competition also included, Kelsey Hibl, Ian Hoffman, Alex Spilman, Dustin Johnson and Matt Wilcox.


About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Charles Michael Ray , 605-394-6082, charles.ray@sdsmt.edu

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