Emerging Prairie is an organization that believes in and nurtures the potential of our community. We have made it our mission to celebrate the entrepreneurs, artists, and creators, specifically in the high technology space. Recognition of our community’s potential, development of an environment for social connectivity, and the act of highlighting the risk takers and change-makers is vitally important, as these are the key accelerators of growth and development. Emerging Prairie was founded based upon the following principles in 2013 by a group of Fargo entrepreneurs who wanted to make a difference in the community they call home.
- Educate Our City – By bringing ideas to Fargo and challenging the status quo, we can move our community forward. Through events, programs, and using our influence to convene leaders, we are able to move ideas to action.
- Infuse the Arts – We create opportunities for the arts/artists to be incorporated into all of our events and programs. We believe artists are the culture creators in a community; culture is what makes people choose to build a life in a city.
- Build on Our Brightspots – We are cheerleaders and champions of the people who are doing great things in our community. Working from the idea of “a rising tide lifts all boats,” we celebrate those we are making progress and positively impacting our community.
- Practice Radical Inclusivity – As the fabric, our community becomes richer, we need to create an environment to welcome people from a variety of backgrounds, faith traditions, lifestyles, etc. We do this through actions such as participating in Welcoming Week, celebrating New American Entrepreneurs, providing gender neutral restrooms at events, and offering vegan food at our events.
Our mission is to connect and celebrate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Fargo-Moorhead. We do so by operating a wide variety of events and initiatives, such as Drone Focus, the Prairie Den coworking space and 1 Million Cups (1MC) Fargo, the largest and most active 1 Million Cups program in the country. We also operate an online publication that highlights the region’s entrepreneurs and innovators that are turning Fargo into a flourishing tech hub. In March of 2016 Emerging Prairie became a 501(c)3 non-profit to further support our mission.
Looking for a way to support Emerging Prairie?
We are always looking for volunteers to support our events and programs. If you are interested in volunteering, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make a contribution to Emerging Prairie.
Director of Community Programs
A community builder and connector, Annie spent several years serving in a college union at MSU-Moorhead, where she fostered leadership skills, encouraged personal growth, and provided opportunities for meaningful connections. At Emerging Prairie, Annie aids in creating authentic personal connections, providing leadership development programs and bridging the gap between industry experts and STEM classrooms. Annie can be reached at email@example.com
Executive Director & Co-Founder
The Executive Director of Emerging Prairie, Greg is a social entrepreneur and connector of people across the midwest. Greg co-founded Students Today Leaders Forever while an undergrad at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. From there, Greg joined the Kilbourne Group and worked on a variety of projects to stimulate growth and entrepreneurship in Downtown Fargo. Greg has been a leader in organizing and managing numerous entrepreneurial events in the FM area, including TEDxFargo, Startup Weekend, and more. Greg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference Director and Development Associate
A jack of all trades, Lindsay has led an interesting life prior to moving to Fargo from Ohio with her husband Paul and two Corgis. With degrees in Culinary Arts, Animal Science, and Agricultural Education, she has her fair share of schooling but is always looking to learn more. At Emerging Prairie she is the master of events and ensures everything stays organized and on task. In her free time, you might find Lindsay and Paul at the bowling alley, gettin' strikes with their scented bowling balls. Reach Lindsay at email@example.com
Born and raised in Fargo, Katie is no stranger to our close-knit community. She graduated from NDSU with a degree in Public Relations and Advertising and has had her hands in multiple cookie jars of the years (including the development of the Hammock Initiative). She is a self-starter with an innovative passion for energizing ideas and turning them into exciting and vivid concepts. At Emerging Prairie, Katie oversees our various communications, develops brand strategies and brings energy to our events. Katie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jana joins us in the role of Operations Administrator. She will make sure Emerging Prairie keeps running smoothly, taking on many operational duties including keeping our books in order, the day-to-day operations of the Prairie Den, and providing administrative support to the EP team and our events. Jana has a wealth of experience in operations management and is a Master Gardener to boot. She is an advocate for mental health as well as a spokesperson/survivor for the American Heart Association and Go Red for Women. Jana can be reached at email@example.com.
Patrick Chaffee is the EVP & Managing Director of Wealth Management Division at Bell Banks. He says that the best thing about his position is “having the opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest minds in the wealth management industry.” When he’s not working, you can find Patrick with his wife, Erica, and their three boys at their lake home on Pelican Lake or on the golf course.
Co-Founder & Board Member
Jake Joraanstad is an entrepreneur with a passion for technology. He is the co-founder and CEO of Myriad Mobile, a mobile consulting and development company. In two years, Jake took a small team with no sales to nearly 20 employees serving Fortune 500 companies – all before he was 23. Jake has spoken at numerous events and continues to spread his passion for technology whenever opportunities arise. He graduated with a computer engineering degree at North Dakota State University and lives in Fargo with his wife and many animals.
Kirk Anton, founder of Heat Transfer Warehouse is the e-commerce guru of the FM area. In just six years, he has built HTW into a team with 33 employees, offices in Fargo,Las Vegas, and Cincinnati, and customers around the world. Kirk is also one of Emerging Prairie’s most avid supporters and a frequenter of 1 Million Cups, Startup Drinks, and Cart Monthly.
Tim Brookins is a Fargo guy through and through, with two degrees in electrical and electronics engineering from NDSU and a passion for Bison football (you can thank him for the app Bison Tracker). He joined Microsoft in 2001 as part of the 1.1-billion-dollar acquisition of Great Plains Software and has since worked in several divisions, including Server & Tools, Windows Phone and Business Solutions. In 2007, he was named a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer by the Chief Software Architect himself, Bill Gates.
Edie Ramstad, founder of Weave Got Maille and very vocal advocate for the startup community. The product of Edie’s boredom with retirement and love for the goldsmith craft. Weave Got Maille a chainmaille supply manufacturer she started in 2012 in her living room. All from their home base in Ada, MN, population 1,647.
Miguel is a native of Fargo, ND, who splits his time between the FM area and Boston. He is a practicing intellectual property attorney with a strong involvement in technology companies and entrepreneurial ecosystems. Miguel holds a BSB from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and a JD from Harvard Law School.
Andy is an associate for Arthur Ventures, a venture capital firm in Fargo and Minneapolis. Andy holds an MBA from North Dakota State University and a BBA in Entrepreneurship from the University of North Dakota. While at the University of North Dakota, Andy served as a fund manager of Dakota Venture Group and interned at the Center for Innovation. Andy’s passion lies in connecting entrepreneurs with the resources they need to create, grow, and scale the businesses of tomorrow.
Interesting FAQs You May Want To Know
What is Emerging Prairie?
What do we actually do? Here’s what “connecting and celebrating” looks like:
Events keep the energy pumping. By hosting weekly, monthly, and annual events, we strive to keep the community active and engaged with each other. The best communities are those that support each other, especially those who are taking risks and building their own companies. 1 Million Cups, Drone Focus, E-Commerce Breakfast, TEDxFargo and Startup Weekend are a few events we help organize, that keep creative energy flowing throughout this city.
We cover the startup beat. Everyday we publish an article (or two) about the amazing things that are happening in this entrepreneurial community. Whether it’s featuring local events, startups, or individual entrepreneurs, we strive to keep people informed on the activity in our startup community – with a primary focus on the tech industry.
Our programs break down silos. Currently our biggest program is the annual Intern Experience – a life-changing 8 weeks where interns from all over the area tour local startups, meet seasoned entrepreneurs, and form lasting friendships with fellow interns.
At the Prairie Den, we’re all co-workers. As of 2015, Emerging Prairie decided to run a coworking space! While it was surprise, (even to us) we are so proud of the Prairie Den and what it stands for. Everything in this space, which is run on a membership basis, signifies the incredible support of the community. From eye-popping local art that’s on the ceiling and the walls, to the furniture where freelancers, artists and innovators work, the Prairie den has quickly become a hub of downtown Fargo. Check it out!
Why are you building Emerging Prairie?
Our goal is to accelerate the growth and development of our communities so our region can create, attract, and grow the businesses today that will create its tomorrow. By doing so, we believe we can create the world’s next best entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Emerging Prairie’s vision is to be a resource that provides:
- The pulse of entrepreneurial activity in the region – news, advice, feedback, resources, events and talent.
- A platform on which we can all share our knowledge and success.
- A network of passionate individuals shaping our region’s future.
Who is your audience?
Our audience is anyone interested in being a part of the entrepreneurial community focused on startups, technology and innovation, and anyone interested in learning about it. We believe that in order to have a healthy entrepreneurial community, we need a healthy ecosystem of connected resources. This community consists of entrepreneurs, investors, government, universities, students, service providers (lawyers, accountants, marketers, consultants, etc.) and large companies. These participants, working together with shared passion, are vital to the success of an entrepreneurial community.
What type of content do you publish?
Our day-to-day content covers startup activity in the Fargo-Moorhead region with an emphasis on tech-based entrepreneurs. Content can generally be categorized into news, features and editorials. We accept guest contributions as well, so feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
What does Emerging Prairie mean?
Our name stems from the activities taking place on the Prairie. There are thousands of talented people building valuable companies, products and technologies in our region. We’re here to support them by telling their stories and exchanging opinions that foster fresh thinking.
What geographies do you cover?
To start, we are focusing on the greater Fargo, N.D. area – about a 100-mile radius around the metro area. Once we feel stable as a new publication, we’ll begin to cover Sioux Falls and the Minneapolis/St.Paul area. If you’re interesting in helping us expand, please contact us
What does your logo mean?
The hexagon is representative of a gear and the driving force within technology, innovation and engineering. The two green blades represent growth and our geographical footprint – The Plains.
How can I become an Emerging Prairie sponsor?
We’d love to hear from you. Please contact us!
Can I be a guest writer for Emerging Prairie?
Yes, you can!
Our contributors are entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, developers, designers, students, investors, marketers, lawyers, healthcare professionals, etc. We do our best to include the entire entrepreneurial community; we’d love for you to join.
Criteria for guest posts:
Must be related to tech-based startups.
Posts are typically between 400-800 words.
Please include 1-2 visuals (photos, video, graphics).
Posts will be edited by Emerging Prairie’s Lead Writer before publication, and you will work with him/her on polishing up a final draft.
E-mail email@example.com to submit an article!
How do I become a contributor?
We’re always looking for new contributors at Emerging Prairie. Send us a short email at firstname.lastname@example.org and please include the following:
- Who you are
- Why you want to contribute – we’re looking for passion and purpose!!!
- A sample of your writing
- Contact information (email and phone number)
What is the Silicon Prairie and our connection to it?
There is no specific definition of the Silicon Prairie, but we like to think of it as a multi-state region comprised of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. Emerging Prairie will focus on the northern end (North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota) of the Silicon Prairie.