Sue Lancaster


Sue Lancaster is the Vice President of Corporate Development for South Dakota Innovation Partners, an early stage venture capital and management company. She is responsible for risk management and market expansion across a portfolio of health and nutrition companies.

As the company's first employee, Sue lead technology due diligence, start-up company formation, and operations across technology fields that included agriculture, engineering, and life sciences. Sue has managed diverse teams across functional areas such as market analysis, intellectual property, product development, operations, business development, and capital management for both private investors and public institutions. Her contributions have helped the company achieve a return on investment of 300X an initial public grant, over $200 million of new capital invested, 150 new jobs, and $100 million in annual recurring value creation for the region.

Sue received a Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of South Dakota; she is a Certified Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma; and she has been named to the Top 25 Women in Business by Prairie Business Magazine.

Steve Lewis


Steve Lewis, Vice President of Technology and Innovation, has been with POET since August 1998. Lewis's primary focus while at POET has been on continued production advances in dry grind ethanol plants. Lewis has 33 years of experience in industrial biotechnology.

Prior to joining POET, Lewis served as an Applications Specialist at Genencor International in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Lewis received a B.S. in Microbiology from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and a Master of Business Administration from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. He also studied Food Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois.

Lewis currently resides in Sioux Falls, S.D., with his wife and 3 children.

Daniel Scholl, Ph.D.


Daniel Scholl is vice president for research and economic development at South Dakota State University. Scholl joined SDSU in 2011 as as associate dean for research of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences and director of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. Previously at the University of Montreal, he led a team that founded an international research consortium with the Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and several industry partners.

Christoph Bausch, Ph.D.

Treasurer - SAB Biotherapeutics

Dr. Christoph L. Bausch is the chief science officer of SAB Biotherapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical development company commercializing the first-of-its-kind immunotherapy platform to produce full human polyclonal (IgG) antibodies from bovine –The DiversitAb™ Platform. Dr. Bausch is responsible for antibody and antigen production, quality control laboratories, research collaborations, grant funding and clinical studies. Prior to SAB, Dr. Bausch worked in business development for global biorefining leader, Poet, LLC, where he structured strategic partnerships, prospected and vetted new technologies, and streamlined R&D. He also held research and commercialization roles for Fortune 500 life science company Sigma-Aldrich.

Ralph Davis, Ph.D.


Davis oversees the Office of Research Affairs, the arm of the university responsible for acquiring major grants, contracts, and research awards; fostering economic development and building community relationships; overseeing the work at 17 labs and research centers associated with the university; and supporting the culture of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship found at Mines.  Davis comes to SD Mines from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where he most recently served as the associate vice provost for research and innovation. His previous positions at the university include the geosciences department chair, director of the Arkansas Water Resources Center, and professor of geosciences. He completed his Ph.D. in hydrogeology in 1992 from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

Daniel Engebretson, Ph.D.


Dan Engebretson earned his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in 1997 from Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI under the direction of Drs. Daniel Nocera and George Leroi. After graduate school he took the position of Senior Scientist at Dakota Technologies, Inc. in Fargo, ND. He then accepted the position of Senior Research Specialist at the Avera Research Institute in Sioux Falls, SD. After Avera he joined The University of South Dakota as the Director of the Center for Research and Development of Light-Activated Materials, a position he still holds in addition to his duties as the Chair of Biomedical Engineering and the Director of the Graduate Education and Applied Research Center.

Dr. Engebretson's major research interests are the development Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET)-based sensors for in vitro diagnostics and targeted drug delivery. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and the Department of Transportation.

Kipp Erickson, Ph.D.


Erickson earned his PhD in Cardiopulmonary Physiology from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University and has served most of his professional career as a scientist and leader in both human and animal health drug discovery and product development. He brings significant knowledge and experiences from his time at Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Phamacia, Pfizer, Zoetis, VP of technology & commercialization at Intrexon and recently, as Director of Translational Medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University. He is well-connected to the idustry, has extensive experience in pharma/biopharma research and product development, strategy and business development, commercialization, licensing and patenting. Erickson is also an expert resource toward product concept development and creating of intellectual property, recognizing opportunities from faculty research and how to evolve them toward invention disclosures and forming connections with potential external partners.

Sharon Hunt


Sharon Hunt, Vice President of Cancer Services at Sanford Health, has been in health care for over 20 years and has led at the executive level at Sanford Health for the past five. Sharon has the privilege of integrating cancer services throughout the spectrum of care, between disciplines and across the geography of the region. Although involved in all aspects of cancer care, Sharon’s passion lies in the implementation of translational research, and specifically in weaving research into daily cancer care. A true advocate of excellence in patient care, Sharon firmly believes in building robust community-based cancer care services to both provide clinical care of exceptional quality to patients, and to translate advances in cancer care into the community setting.

Involved in initiatives to combat breast cancer (Edith Sanford Breast Center) and integrate genomics into medicine (Imagenetics), Sharon supports cancer operations from prevention and early detection, through treatment and survivorship. She impacts all areas of cancer services including medical oncology and hematology, radiation oncology, gynecologic oncology, surgical oncology, infusion, oncologic and investigational pharmacy, clinical trials and helps lead Sanford’s participation in National Cancer Institute’s Community Cancer Center’s Program (NCCCP) and NCI’s Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP).

Sharon grew up in Minnesota and worked as a research chemist for 3M before moving to South Dakota and Sioux Falls over 20 years ago. Sharon has served on the Susan G. Komen race board and survivorship committees, volunteers for the American Cancer Society and sits on the South Dakota Arthritis Foundation board. She enjoys reading, running, and activities with her grown children and her husband.

Penny Sattgast

PCS Biotech Services

Prior to founding PCS Biotech Services in 2017, Penny worked for Elanco and served as a clinical trial study director. She brings 15 years of clinical, laboratory, quality and regulatory experience to her business, and has an MS in biology from South Dakota State University.

Stephen R. Statz, R.Ph., MBA


Stephen R. Statz, R.Ph., MBA, is Sr. Vice President of Business Development at Avera Health in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He has responsibility and oversight of Business Development, Avera Pharmacy, Avera Supply Chain, Avera PACE, Avera Couriers and the Northern Plains Premier Collaborative (NPPC) a partnership with the Regional Health System in Rapid City. Prior to joining Avera Health, Steve was the Sr. Vice President of Hospital Operations at Avera McKennan where his responsibilities included all facets of Avera McKennan hospital operations.

Previously, Statz was President of Statz Companies, Inc. a family business with five retail pharmacies and six home medical equipment stores as well as president of Tel-Drug, Inc., a mail-order pharmacy business, which he sold to Cigna Companies in October of 1993. Statz holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Creighton University and a Master's in Business Administration from the University of Sioux Falls and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Steve is active in a number of professional organizations and currently serves on the following boards and committees: Sioux Falls Development Foundation Board, South Dakota Technology Business Center Board (Chair), First Bank and Trust Board, South Dakota Biotech Association Board (Chair), South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organization Council on Long Term Care, Catholic Foundation of Eastern South Dakota, First Tee of South Dakota Board Liaison and is also active with the Avera / SDSU Research Collaborative.

Past board appointments include serving as president and a board member of the South Dakota Board of Pharmacy, Past-President of the SDSU College of Pharmacy Advisory Board, Southeast Technical Institute Foundation Board Member, Founding member and former President of the South Dakota Family Business Council, Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation Development Committee, Board Member of Downtown Rotary Club, and a Board Member of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce.

Steve and his wife Julie reside in Sioux Falls with their two children, Michael and Mary Kate.

Jeff Steinle

Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.

Jeff Steinle is a corporate attorney who advises life science companies executing M&A, divestiture, financing, joint venture, licensing and commercial transactions.  Jeff serves as general counsel to digital health companies as they navigate the myriad legal issues related to the growing use of artificial intelligence, smart algorithms and “big data” in medical technology. Concurrent with his role at Fredrikson, Jeff was recently the General Counsel of Vios Medical, Inc., an emerging growth healthcare information technology company with an IoT-based patient management platform delivered as a service, prior to its sale to Murata Manufacturing Company in the fall of 2017. Jeff serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Pillsbury United Communities and the Board of Directors of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation.

Mel Ustad, Ph.D.

Director of SD EPSCoR

Dr. Melvin Ustad, Director of South Dakota EPSCoR, coordinating South Dakota EPSCoR activities and serving as the Project Director of the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 1 project.  The five year $24 million project involves the six regental institutions, three tribal colleges, two private colleges.  Dr. Ustad served as the Director of Commercialization, in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development for Governor Rounds and Daugaard.   Dr. Ustad has extensive experience leading collaborative interdisciplinary public / private research and economic development projects. Dr. Ustad previously served as Acting and Interim Vice President for Research at the University of South Dakota, Director of the South Dakota SBIR Center, and worked for Senator Larry Pressler in Washington, DC. He has also served or is currently serving on the Board of Directors of numerous national and state technology entrepreneurship organizations. Dr. Ustad has been an active researcher throughout his career, serving as principal investigator on numerous research and outreach projects supported by various federal agencies and private foundations.

Eddie Sullivan, Ph.D.

ADVISOR - SAB Biotherapeutics

As President, CEO and Co-Founder, Dr. Sullivan is actively involved in charting the vision of the organization and working directly with the scientific and technical staff to develop new, innovative products using the DiversitAb™ Platform. He has worked to form strategic partnerships around the world to promote the development of life saving therapeutics.

As a seasoned biotechnology executive, Dr. Sullivan has more than 15 years of leadership experience including President of a subsidiary of Kyowa Hakko Kirin, a Japanese pharmaceutical company. During that time, he led initiatives to develop infectious disease, cancer and autoimmune therapeutics. Raising over $190M in capital to develop biopharmaceutical platform technologies, he has also led several mergers and acquisitions. Dr. Sullivan was previously Vice President of Business Development and Government Relations of Sanford Applied Biosciences, a subsidiary of Sanford Health. He was also the head of Genemark, a company developing molecular diagnostic tools to the animal health industry as well as a co-founder of BioDak, a biotechnology development company.

Dr. Sullivan has been a thought leader in this field and worked with various committees and discussion groups that have focused on animal biotechnology and has actively participated in discussions for establishing a regulatory framework for this technology. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in Washington, D.C. He is also Founder and Past President of the state affiliate of BIO, South Dakota Biotech.

He was appointed by the Governor of South Dakota to the state’s Research Commercialization Council and serves as Chairman of the South Dakota National Science Foundation EPSCoR.

Dr. Sullivan holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and graduate degrees from Brigham Young University, Kennedy-Western University, and Utah State University in both reproduction and business.