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Rapid City CEO speaks at Senate Subcommittee meeting

Ray Hespen of Property Meld speaks before the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology,...
Ray Hespen of Property Meld speaks before the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, which is chaired by South Dakota Senator John Thune.(John Thune YouTube)
Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 6:08 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The CEO of a Rapid City business was asked to speak in front of a Senate Subcommittee earlier this week.

Ray Hespen, the co-founder and CEO of Property Meld, went to Washington D.C. to speak about venture capital gaps across different regions of the country. He spoke before the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, a subcommittee chaired by South Dakota Senator John Thune.

Hespen was joined by entrepreneurs from Michigan and Hawaii to discuss innovation in entrepreneurship. Hespen thinks he was asked to speak because of his perspective on having mentorship within his business.

The Rapid City business owner hopes his business model could help build start-ups in the Midwest.

“They really looked at our business as a cookie cutter of what could be-- how do we take our businesses that are on the coasts, you hear the Bay Area, and say, ‘let’s do this in the Midwest,’” said Hespen. “And so, I think they’re super interested in figuring out how we do more of those, how do we get capital to those, how do we create more support networks around them, so that way, it’s not just San Francisco, it’s not just New York, it’s not just Boston, but how can Rapid City be the Silicon Prairie.”

Property Meld is a managing system that helps property managers to communicate with renters.

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