Who We Are?

We are here to help founders...

Our Mission

We formed at the Brookings Innovation Campus with the mission to help founders jumpstart their ventures. We want to help founders find the shortest path from “idea” to “business”.  And not just that: but help founders connect with each other, with mentors, and for the serious ones, investors too. Our board is comprised of successful founders and insightful advisors – so you can be assured your pitch or idea will be reviewed with solely “merit” in mind. So come on board, and start your success story here!


Dwaine Chapel

Mr. Dwaine Chapel is the Executive Director of the Research Park at South Dakota State University. Mr. Chapel previously served as the Executive Director of the Madison-based Lake Area Improvement Corporation since 2006, where he worked closely with state legislators, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and members of South Dakota’s congressional delegation on economic development and growth in the area. Dwaine is a South Dakota State University graduate, with a master’s degree in Industrial Management from the College of Engineering.

Rajesh Kavasseri

Dr. Kavasseri serves as the Associate Dean for Research for the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering. Besides overseeing and spearheading the Lohr College’s research enterprise, Dr. Kavasseri views engineering as an agent for social change, a powerful tool to transform lives, and build a more prosperous society. Dr. Kavasseri is passionate about championing innovative thinkers, problem-solvers, those that have the spirit and courage to become “founders” and help them along their journey from an “Ah-ha” idea to a production-grade market reality.