Marketing and Sales Innovation from Fargo Start-Up, Sundog Interactive

In 1995, Brent Teiken and Chuck Duffie began Sundog Interactive in Fargo, North Dakota. For over 20 years, Sundog has provided web-based development solutions for customers around the world. “From the beginning, we were focused on taking the web and leveraging it to the fullest extent… We strive to be on the innovative edge of what is to come with technology in the marketing and sales industry,” said Teiken.

Friends and Co-founders

Growing up in the Fargo-Moorhead area, Teiken graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota with a major in English with a business minor. With a small knowledge of software, Teiken began a career with Great Plains Software in 1992, which sparked an interest in software development. “At Great Plains, I began to see what was possible with the internet… I was put on a project in 1995 that required me to integrate my work with the web,” explained Teiken.

Entrepreneurship was a family trait for Teiken, considering his father and uncles owned their own businesses. The creation of Sundog Interactive came through a friendship with fellow Great Plains employee, Chuck Duffie. In a string of emails in 1995, the two began dreaming of what could be next in the world of the web and commerce. “In June of 1996, Chuck and I spent our first day working together as Sundog Interactive… I was 25, and I found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” said Teiken.

Company Journey

From the earliest years, Sundog has prided itself on its culture that has led to employee growth and national recognition. As Sundog offers web-based solutions in marketing, sales, and business technologies, Teiken explains that it is the Sundog’s team that has made the last 20 years successful. “We have grown steadily and innovated in our industry, but it is all credited to the smart people of our team who share similar values of our culture…. We have kept really great people on the Sundog team because of our culture,” explained Teiken.

Along with a strong work culture, the Sundog team is defined by its ability to evolve and create innovative ideas. Over the last two decades, the company has merged in 2003, developed strategic partnerships (Sales Force), and adapted as the access to the internet rapidly increases. “The last several years we have been focused on digital transformation…. Marketing departments are challenged with becoming digital to connect closer to consumers with data, Artificial Intelligence, and more. We are really being forced to evolve,” said Teiken.

After twenty years, Teiken still enjoys the thrill and journey of being an entrepreneur. “I am learning every single day… I have found that the entrepreneurial journey is often opposite of conventional wisdom. I have learned that you get bigger by getting smaller, and that failing can lead to succeeding as you learn from the valleys and peaks of the journey,” explained Teiken.

Learn more from Brent Teiken and Sundog Interactive as he speaks at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 at 9:15 a.m. at The Stage in Island Park.

Brent McNeal