Bea Smith named Director of Northern Innovation and Startup Center

ABERDEEN, S.D.(Press Release) – Northern State University officials are pleased to announce the appointment of Bea Smith as the new Director of the Northern Innovation and Startup Center, effective Aug. 21, 2023. The Northern Innovation and Startup Center aims to cultivate an environment in Aberdeen that embraces technology, celebrates innovation and encourages a fail-forward mentality among entrepreneurs. With an impressive background in community outreach and marketing, as well as a passion for fostering entrepreneurship, Smith brings a wealth of experience and a visionary approach to this pivotal role.

As the new director, Smith’s primary responsibility will be overseeing the Startup Center’s mission: to foster a culture of tech innovation, provide valuable ideation and incubator programs for the community, and bring expertise from successful tech startups to Aberdeen, while supporting aspiring tech entrepreneurs.

“My personal passions for our community align beautifully with the Northern Innovation and Startup Center’s purpose of connecting individuals, encouraging the formation of networks though energizing events and programming that truly work to bring people together,” Smith said.

Under Smith’s guidance, the Northern Startup Center will continue to offer its diverse array of programs and resources, with a commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. Exciting startup workshops and ideation programs are scheduled through this fall, including a look at essential steps for launching a business, how to fund those entrepreneurial ventures, marketing ideas, ways to refine business ideas and more. Importantly, all programs offered by the Startup Center are open to students, community members and individuals from the region at large. Workshops and programs will be offered in a HyFlex format, allowing participants to access content either in person, synchronously online or asynchronously online.

Aberdeen’s economy has thrived on entrepreneurship across various sectors, from hospitality to finance and wealth management. By showcasing the stories of Aberdeen’s strong entrepreneurial foundation, the center seeks to inspire potential tech entrepreneurs and cultivate a thriving tech startup culture in Aberdeen and its neighboring communities.

“Aberdeen has a long history of successful entrepreneurial ventures that grew to major industry titans,” Smith said. “And it’s exciting for our community to capitalize on that legacy.”

For more information and details about upcoming events, visit the Northern Innovation and Startup Center website at