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Award-winning entrepreneurial educator to speak at Launch

Alex Bruton - Launch 17
Alex Bruton will speak at Launch Feb. 23 at the McCrory Gardens Education and Visitor Center.

Alex Bruton, who was named the 2012 Entrepreneurial Educator in Canada, will be the Rickert Visiting Entrepreneur Speaker at the 12th annual South Dakota Entrepreneurship Education Conference, which will take place Feb. 23 at the McCrory Gardens Education and Visitor Center. The conference, also known as Launch, starts at 9:30 a.m. South Dakota State University is hosting the event for the fifth-straight year.

Bruton is an award-winning educator, several-time entrepreneur, researcher and president of The Innographer (, a practical open education and innovation design firm with the mission of “helping people (learn to) innovate.” Bruton is also the faculty director of the Spark School for Innovation by Design, Western Canada’s first innovation design school. He is also the co-founder of the Straight Up Business Institute, a pioneering venture that delivers online education and gaming experiences that help people become more creative, innovative and entrepreneurial.

Bruton will speak at 10:15 and 11:30 a.m., and at 1:30 p.m.

South Dakota-based entrepreneurs Clint Brown, Addie Graham-Kramer, Kirsten Gjesdal and Jordan Miller will participate in a panel moderated by event veteran Tina Beal.

Vision Brookings again is sponsoring the event while the SDSU Ness Division of Management and Economics is an event partner. The conference again features entrepreneurs at various levels of success/achievement to discuss their experiences with students.

“Launch is all about fostering, encouraging and developing entrepreneurship in our region. Our event hopes to broaden career horizons,” said Barb Heller, SDSU’s entrepreneurial studies coordinator. “Through the content delivered and networking experiences, participants will walk away from the Launch conference with inspiration on putting practical ideas into action.”

Additional partners are the Enterprise Institute, South Dakota Small Business Development Centers, South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development, South Dakota EPSCoR and the Dakota Wesleyan University Kelley Center for Entrepreneurship.

To register or find more information about the event, visit