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CenturyLink awards Learn.Create.Build. Academy $5,000 at business competition event


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) today awarded Learn.Create.Build. Academy $5,000 at a business competition event with The Bakery, a collaborative workspace and entrepreneur community, for their innovative use of technology. Rodeo Analytics was named runner up and awarded $1,000.

“The companies that competed in today’s event illustrated how the world of technology is changing and how they are adapting to it,” said Julie Darrington, CenturyLink’s vice president of operations for North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and southwest Iowa. “We congratulate them for leveraging existing technology to successfully conduct their business and are pleased to reward Learn.Create.Build. Academy as the company works to provide game app development to children, our future workforce.”

“We want to ensure that Sioux Falls plants itself as a serious player in the next wave of tech growth,” said Clint Brown, co-founder of The Bakery. “The Bakery and CenturyLink want to support and encourage tech companies by providing growth-stage funding assistance, in addition to the technology infrastructure and resources currently available.”

Five organizations were selected to compete, each of which had five minutes to present their pitch and then answered questions from the panel of judges:

  • The Podyum, a social media platform for sports athletes.
  • Rodeo Analytics, a video analysis company launching a product for professional rodeo riders.
  • Learn. Create. Build. Academy, a educational organization launching a new course that teaches game app development online.
  • Juna Sleep Systems, a factory-direct mattress company launching a product that incorporates a bio-metric safe.
  • Vivo Center for Innovation, an innovation organization within Good Samaritan Society tasked with launching a product to connect senior citizens with communities

The panel of judges was comprised of four individuals:

  • Karla Santi, Blend Interactive
  • Matthew Paulson,
  • John Ray, CenturyLink
  • Michael Macfadden, Solute Inc.

Interested organizations completed an application for a chance to be selected for the competition.

For more information about CenturyLink, visit For more information about The Bakery, visit

About CenturyLink

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is a global communications, hosting, cloud and IT services company enabling millions of customers to transform their businesses and their lives through innovative technology solutions. CenturyLink offers network and data systems management, Big Data analytics and IT consulting, and operates more than 55 data centers in North America, Europe and Asia. The company provides broadband, voice, video, data and managed services over a robust 250,000-route-mile U.S. fiber network and a 300,000-route-mile international transport network. Visit CenturyLink for more information.

About The Bakery

The Bakery serves students, entrepreneurs, business leaders and creatives in the Sioux Falls community.  The Bakery provides a location where they can receive training, education, mentorship, and promotion in order to encourage and equip the community to start, build and grow their businesses. Facilitating a culture of creative entrepreneurship and ‘giving before you get’, The Bakery connects new and old entrepreneurs with a vibrant, collaborative environment. For more information, visit