When you think of South Dakota's most vibrant business centers, Brookings might not be the first place that comes to mind. But, South Dakota's fourth largest city is getting some major props from a national publication for its business climate, especially for start-up companies.

Entrepreneur magazine recently included Brookings in its list of the 'The 25 Best Cities for Entrepreneurs'. The city of roughly 25,000 opened eyes at the magazine thanks to some impressive numbers in some key economic categories:

Brookings has the second-lowest unemployment on this list and the second-best growth of high-wage jobs. Plus it’s affordable, ranking second for food spending and in the top five for housing.

The magazine included a quote from Trevor Clements, co-founder of the Coteau des Prairies Olive Oil Company, which is located inside the Pheasant Restaurant and Lounge in Brookings:

Early on, we were uncertain if we could be successful in a town and region the size of ours. But Brookings is incredibly supportive of local businesses, and the community is quite diverse, much like a slice of a much larger city.

But, successful start-up companies in Brookings are nothing new.

Go all the way back to 1968, when a pair of electrical engineering professors at South Dakota State - Aelred Kurtenbach and Duane Sander - founded a company to design and manufacture electronic voting systems for state legislatures.

Nearly 50 years later, that company - Daktronics - has become one of the world's leading manufacturers and installers of scoreboards, video display boards, and electronic signs.

The company currently employs more than 3,000 people worldwide.


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