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Board of Regents approve Paulson Center at DSU

December 10, 2020

Matt Paulson

The Paulson Cyber Incubator and Entrepreneurial Center (PCIEC) is named after Matt Paulson, a DSU alumnus, entrepreneur, private equity investor, and author.

The state Board of Regents on Dec. 10 approved the name for a new program unit at Dakota State’s campus.

The Paulson Cyber Incubator and Entrepreneurial Center (PCIEC) is named after Matt Paulson, a DSU alumnus, entrepreneur, private equity investor, and author.

Paulson and his wife, Karine, have signed a sponsorship gift agreement for $300,000 to the Dakota State University Foundation. The gift will be used to directly fund the PCIEC, which will provide a tech-transfer, entrepreneurship, and business start-up center to work with both intellectual property from the Madison Cyber Labs and the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO) student club on campus. The center will be based in a facility on the north edge of campus.

“Matt Paulson is the perfect example of a successful entrepreneur,” said José-Marie Griffiths, president of Dakota State, “and the perfect example of what is possible with a degree from Dakota State. He began creating businesses while in college and has built a successful career from that experience. His example will be an inspiration to all who work with The Paulson Cyber Incubator and Entrepreneurial Center.”

When Paulson was a student, he participated in a program called the Center for Techno Entrepreneurship (CTE), led by Dr. Josh Pauli. This program is no longer in existence, but Paulson said the CTE “helped turn my hobby of personal finance blogging into a real business. The university connected me to mentors and professional service providers and also provided me with a small amount of capital to grow my business.”

That business developed into MarketBeat, an Inc. 5000 financial media company that empowers individual investors to make better trading decisions by providing stock market news, real-time financial data, and best-in-class research tools. With more than 1.5 million subscribers and 15 million monthly page views, MarketBeat is arguably South Dakota’s widest-reaching vertical media company, according to documentation provided to the Board of Regents by the university.

“Today, MarketBeat employs nine people and generates north of $10 million in annual revenue, thanks in part to the small investment that Dakota State made in both me and my business,” Paulson said.

"I hope the Paulson Center will give DSU's next generation of entrepreneurs the resources and advice they need to build great South Dakota businesses,” Paulson stated.

The Center will also provide pre-seed capital to select startup businesses that come out of the university, Paulson said, and he hopes that DSU will launch several successful, high-growth technology companies over the next five years.

“These startups will create high-paying technology jobs in South Dakota that will help keep our graduates in state and will help seed the state's growing technology sector with talent and other resources," he stated.

The “philanthropy and commitment [of the Paulsons] shows a real investment in the future, and will provide a workforce pathway for our students,” said Dr. Richard Hanson, interim vice president for Institutional Advancement.

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