Brian Rupert Awarded 2020 Spirit of Enterprise Award

November 20, 2020

Written By: Tim Weelborg, Enterprise Institute

Posted In: Press Releases

The Enterprise Institute awarded the 2020 Spirit of Enterprise Award to Brian Rupert of Hill City, SD at the annual Innovation Expo in Rapid City last month.

The Spirit of Enterprise is an award given annually by the Enterprise Institute to an individual in recognition of personal commitment, dedication, and achievement in entrepreneurship.  These individuals are directly responsible for helping shape the entrepreneurial culture of our state.

Enterprise Institute Executive Director Tim Weelborg said “Brian is extremely active in the entrepreneurial community in the Black Hills and beyond.  His efforts have made and continue to make a tremendous impact to entrepreneurs and startup companies in the region. “

Rup, as he’s called by most of his friends, works designing websites and helping small businesses with their marketing and development. He serves as Vice President of Hill City’s Economic Development Committee and has been integral in getting a Makers’ Space going at the school.  Because of his interest in technology and through connections with businesses and educators in both Hill City and Rapid City, he’s helped secure grants and very generous donations from those businesses that have helped make Hill City’s Makers’ Space one of the best.

Rupert also played a key role in develop the Black Hills Startup weekend – helping entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. And continues to serve as an event facilitator.

“There’s a saying that great entrepreneurs are born, not made. It’s clear Brian is both,” said Tom Johnson, President & CEO of Elevate Rapid City. Elevate sponsors the annual Black Hills award. “He has the natural curiosity and tenacity that makes for a great entrepreneur. But more than that, he works hard and shows up. The Black Hills startup community is made better because of him.”

The Spirit of Enterprise began in the Black Hills in 2016 and is sponsored by Elevate Rapid City. Previous winners include Darren Haar [2016], James Quinn [2017], Joseph Wright [2018], and David Lust [2019].


Tim Weelborg, Enterprise Institute | 605.697.5015