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Paulsons named Philanthropists of Year

March 9, 2021

Annual award was announced at DSU Gala

Jon Schemmel, VP for Institutional Advancement & Director of the DSU Foundation and Alumni Association, presents Matt Paulson, DSU alum and Founder of MarketBeat with Philanthropist of the Year award.

Jon Schemmel, VP for Institutional Advancement & Director of the DSU Foundation and Alumni Association, presents Matt Paulson, DSU alum and Founder of MarketBeat with Philanthropist of the Year award.

A passion for entrepreneurship, along with an interest in giving back and investing in the future, are just a few of the reasons Matt and Karine Paulson were selected as DSU 2020 Philanthropists of the Year.

The Paulsons have dedicated their lives to helping others through the founding of companies, the creation of an angel fund, working with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial organizations, an becoming leaders in their church and community organizations, said Katherine Cota, Director of Economic Development at Dakota State.

This drive to help others led to a significant donation from the Paulsons to help fund an incubator and entrepreneurial center at DSU. This donation and seed funding from the state helped propel the development of the center.

“The gift to start the Paulson Cyber Incubator and Entrepreneurial Center (PCIEC) at DSU is another example of their desire to help others and lead by example,” Cota said.

The PCIEC 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 at DSU.

The center will help build research programs, develop businesses, and create jobs to keep computer science and cyber students in South Dakota upon graduation. Matt hopes his journey as an entrepreneur will inspire others and is proud to make an impact at DSU.

“When first meeting with Matt, it was obvious he and Karine wanted to do something very special and unique with their gift,” said Wendy McDonnel, development officer. “The Paulson Cyber Incubator and Entrepreneurial Center at Dakota State University matches not only their desire to be philanthropic toward DSU, but it also matches their beliefs in investing in the future through entrepreneurship.”

Matt was surprised to learn of the Philanthropist of the Year award, which was established in 2006 to acknowledge donors who make significant personal contributions of time, talent, and resources to Dakota State.

“I see this award as one, an honor, and two, it also gives me something to live up to with my current and future giving,” Matt said.

Matt earned two degrees from Dakota State, a B.S. in Computer Science in 2008 and an M.S. in Information Systems in 2009. He appreciated the investment his computer science professors made in him as a student.

During Matt's time at DSU he created the predecessor to his current business MarketBeat, a financial media company that helps stock investors track their investment portfolios. A short-lived DSU program called the Center of Technological Entrepreneurship assisted him with his development. Additionally, the skills he gained through attending DSU helped Matt build MarketBeat as a highly automated business.

Today MarketBeat has over 1.5 million subscribers and will do $20 million in revenue this year. Matt wanted to give similar opportunities to the students of today, which he and Karine did by making the $300,000 sponsorship gift to fund the PCIEC.

“We're really excited to see where that's going to go,” Matt said.

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