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Entrepreneur Randal Pinkett to be keynote speaker for Innovation Week ’13

Randal Pinkett

Entrepreneur, scholar and author Randal Pinkett is scheduled to be the keynote speaker during the fourth annual Innovation Week, Feb. 26-28, hosted by North Dakota State University and the NDSU Research and Technology Park.

Innovation Week ’13 includes an innovation competition for students, educational sessions on innovation and entrepreneurship and networking opportunities. The week culminates with Pinkett’s keynote address and the Innovation Challenge ’13 awards ceremony Thursday, Feb. 28, at 5 p.m., in the Memorial Union Great Plains Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public. Please register at

“The goal of Innovation Week is to make students aware that creating a new idea can lead to a start-up and that starting a business is a career option to consider,” said Brenda Wyland interim executive director of the NDSU Research and Technology Park. “We also want to show students the resources available and connect them with entrepreneurs, like Randal Pinkett, who have been where they are now.”

Pinkett is the founder, chair and CEO of his fifth venture, BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar management consulting and information technology solutions firm headquartered in Newark, N.J.

He has received numerous awards for business and technology excellence, including the Information Technology Senior Management Forum’s Beacon Award, the National Society of Black Engineers’ Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the National Urban League’s Business Excellence Award. He has been featured on nationally televised programs such as “The Today Show,” “Live with Regis and Kelly,” “Nightline” and “Larry King Live.” He also was the winner of the NBC reality television show, “The Apprentice,” with Donald Trump.

Pinkett is the author of “Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur’s Guide to Launching a Multimillion-Dollar Business” and “No-Money Down CEO: How to Start Your Dream Business with Little or No Cash” and co-author of “Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness.” He holds five degrees, including a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Rutgers University, where he was captain of the men’s track and field team; a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Oxford in England; and a master’s degree in electrical engineering, MBA and doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was the first and only African-American to receive the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship at Rutgers University.

The Innovation Week ’13 schedule is available at

NDSU is a student-focused, land-grant, research university listed among the top 108 research universities in the nation by the Carnegie Foundation. 

The NDSU Research and Technology Park and Technology Incubator are home to fast-paced, high-growth companies that promote technology-based economic development in North Dakota. The companies compete globally or have the potential to. To operate within the park or Technology Incubator, a company needs to be involved in the advancement and development of new technology and be willing to establish a working relationship with NDSU. The companies work in the fields of material sciences, biosciences and life science technology, information technology, nanotechnology, and advanced manufacturing and sensors/micro-electronics.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Vice President for University Relations
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-1068 - Fax: (701) 231-1989
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