Prairie Capital Summit – Speaker Lineup
James Burgum – Arthur Ventures
James Burgum is a co-founder of Arthur Ventures and serves as Managing Partner where he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the firm. Prior to founding Arthur Ventures, James was a founding team-member of the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO), a public-private partnership that assists North Dakota companies in connecting with international business partners and customers. Before joining the North Dakota Trade Office James worked for Governor John Hoeven advising the Governor and the Legislature on youth policy and international trade. Programs James was involved in helping launch, such as Operation: Intern, Young Professional Networks, and the North Dakota Trade Office continue to be key initiatives of the state of North Dakota. James also served as Student Body President at North Dakota State University (NDSU), where he and his team helped drive major changes on campus including a re-classification of the university to Division I athletics and more than $20M worth of student-funded construction projects. While attending NDSU, James also worked in marketing and business-development roles at Great Plains Software and Microsoft. James holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from NDSU and currently serves on the board of directors at Arthur Companies Inc., a diversified agri-business, as well as Partner Companies: Agronomic Technology Corp., Altravax, Catalyze, Intelligent InSites, and Loyalty Builders. James is a board observer at Liquid Cool Solutions. James previously served on the board of directors at Preventice.
Maggie Bickerman – Gener8tor
Maggie Brickerman heads up gener8tor’s gBETA program. gBETA is a six-week accelerator for pre-seed companies. Each program is capped at five teams, and requires no fees and no equity.
Maggie came to gener8tor after ten years of working for Wisconsin political organizations and campaigns, where she gained extensive experience starting things from scratch, building high-functioning teams and managing big budgets.
A Wisconsin native, Maggie graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008.
Dusty Davidson – FlyWheel
Dusty is a technology entrepreneur located on the Silicon Prairie. Over the past 9 years, he has built a reputation as one of the leading innovators and advocates for technology startups in the Midwest. Companies founded by Dusty include Tripleseat – A software-as-a-service company selling event management software to restaurants and hotels nationwide; Silicon Prairie News / Big Omaha – The voice for entrepreneurs, startups and innovators in the middle of the country; and most recently Flywheel – a platform built specifically for web designers and agencies building WordPress websites – one of the fastest growing technology startups in Nebraska.
Philip Lea – LongWater Opportunities
Prior to joining LongWater, Phil worked in the Strategic Business Development group at 3M, a $30 billion manufacturing company based in St Paul, MN. During his time at 3M, he had a wide range of strategy, marketing, and business development responsibilities. He was instrumental in developing a long-term alliance between 3M and a privately held tool manufacturer, which has allowed the companies to leverage each other’s capabilities for more profitable growth. He was also heavily involved in strategic planning at both the corporate and business group levels, and led an initiative to improve the quality and efficiency of the strategic planning process.
Phil also has years of experience as a consultant, working for some of the largest hospital systems in the country. He was responsible for day-to-day project management, client relationship management, and the professional development of his team. He identified $50 million of underpaid claims, and his process improvement recommendations prevented his clients from losing hundreds of millions in future revenue.
Phil graduated from Duke University with a BA degree in Economics and Public Policy Studies and later earned an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. He lives in Dallas with his wife Maggie and their dog Roux. He enjoys cooking Cajun food and even hosts an annual crawfish boil benefiting the Vasculitis Foundation.
Tom Eitreim – South Dakota Enterprise Institute
Tom Eitreim serves as the Manager of Angel Funds and Market Research for the Enterprise Institute. In that capacity, he conducts and supervises a market research team that creates customized reports for entrepreneur clients and also provides market research for the South Dakota SBDC network. Tom has helped to create and fundraise six new member-managed angel funds in South Dakota over the past 5 years. He also administers the network of nine member-managed angel funds consisting of over 125 angel investors throughout South Dakota. Tom is actively involved in entrepreneurship events throughout South Dakota and the region.
James Leslie – Flipgrid
James Leslie is the Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of Flipgrid, a Minneapolis company focused on enabling video-driven social learning in classrooms around the world. Flipgrid is an asynchronous video communication platform used in more than 40,000 classrooms across 136 countries on seven continents. In 2015 the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal inducted Leslie as a Tech Titan for Investment Catalyst. Leslie was also honored as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005 for his accomplishments as the Founder and CEO of Midwave Corporation, a Twin Cities IT systems integration firm of nearly $100 million in annual sales before being acquired by Datalink (NASDAQ: DTLK) in 2011. Mr Leslie has served on numerous public, private, industry, and non-profit boards, most recently as Director of Orion Energy Systems Inc (NASDAQ:OESX) and The Blake School.
Miguel Danielson – Danielson Legal
Miguel Danielson is founder and Managing Member of Danielson Legal LLC, a boutique intellectual property and technology company legal practice with offices in Cambridge, MA and Fargo. Miguel has over 15 years of experience working with some of the top technology companies in the world. Danielson Legal’s attorneys are deeply experienced senior lawyers that help companies with patent, trademark, copyright, corporate, and outside general counsel services so they can create the greatest value for their customers and shareholders.
Amber Ferrie – Eide Bailly
Amber Ferrie is a part of the Transaction Services team for Eide Bailly, LLP. Amber specializes in business transaction advisory services, providing sell-side advisory services to lower and middle market clients who are looking to sell their business. Additionally, Amber provides Quality of Earnings reports for those clients and lenders looking at future acquisitions. Other buy-side advisory services and business valuations round out Amber’s areas of practice.
Amber has advised on mergers and transactions ranging from $5 million to $425 million in value across multiple industries, including transportation, energy, consumer goods and retail. One of the most rewarding aspects of Amber’s job is helping business owners recognize the true value of their years, sometimes a lifetime of hard work. Mergers and acquisitions are some of the most personal business transactions, she considers herself lucky to be a part of the team helping people achieve their goals.
Scott Bintz – RealTruck.com
Scott Bintz founded RealTruck.com in the basement of a duplex in 1998 and grew it into a 60+ million dollar e-commerce super-store on a mission to make people’s lives and vehicles better right from beautiful North Dakota. As CEO, he and his management team grew the business based on guiding principles and discovered you can create a great company for employees, partners and customers while having fun doing it. Being recognized as a Top Place to work by ND Young Peoples & Prairie Business along with other recognitions such as the Bizrate Platinum Circle of Excellence, top 300 mobile & top 500 e-commerce companies numerous years in a row and he was even lucky enough to be featured in national UPS ads. In 2015, Scott sold RealTruck.com to Truck Hero, Inc. of Ann Arbor, MI, a $600+ million conglomerate that owns 10 other brands and growing. Scott continues to have some equity interest in Truck Hero and is currently assisting with the digital strategy for all their brands. He is involved in RH Rebel, “e-commercing up” storage units, helping select brands via Red Headed Rebel, a digital marketing firm which offers consulting on e-commerce, digital strategy, & business work culture building. He is also trying his hand at teaching a digital marketing class at the University of Jamestown, which attracted 60+ students on the first offering making it the largest class in UJ history. Scott is also involved with numerous boards and a few limited speaking engagements. And if that isn’t enough, is thinking about writing a book in the near future. His story is really about learning and doing. His favorite saying is “Anything’s Possible”.
Garrett Moon – CoSchedule
Garrett Moon is the CEO and a Co-Founder at CoSchedule, the world’s #1 best selling marketing calendar solution. CoSchedule is the fastest growing startup in North Dakota, and was ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com. CoSchedule supports a ND based team of 30 and helps nearly 10,000 marketing teams worldwide stay organized.
Garrett has experience pitching his company at Google, raising more than $3mm in capital, and was a top five finisher in the TECH.co Startup of Year completion. He has been a featured on sites like Forbes, Mixergy, Social Media Examiner and Content Marketing Institute.
Keevin O’Rourke – NMotion
Keevin O’Rourke is the Program Manager at NMotion, a startup accelerator in Lincoln, NE. He helps recruit startups, develops the accelerator curriculum, and works with founders year round. Prior to his position at NMotion, Keevin was a two-time founder and graduate of the Iowa Startup Accelerator. Keevin’s mission is to meet as many people as possible while in Fargo.
Dean Reese – ND Development Fund
A graduate of Oakes High School and North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND with a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major (Business & Economics). Over 22 years in the financial industry (Banking & Consumer finance). Worked for Avco Financial Services in Rapid City, SD & Atlantic, Iowa, First National Bank in Fergus Falls, Mn. as consumer loan manager, Dakota Bank & Trust in Fargo, ND as consumer and real estate manager, First American Bank in Breckenridge, Mn. as Vice-President-commercial loan manager & Community First National Bank in Wahpeton, ND as Vice-President-commercial loan manager.
Dean is currently CEO of the Development Fund. Was appointed CEO on March 1, 1999. Started with the Development Fund as Senior Vice-President on July 1, 1997.
Dean is married to Rhonda and has 2 children, Brady (In Residency at Walter Reed Hospitals) and Morgan (PA-Sanford Medical-Bismarck, ND).
Dean enjoys participating in sports activities especially golf and hunting. They reside in Bismarck, ND.
Gregory Syrup – 701 AngelFund
Greg manages and operates the 701 Angel Fund, an investor group composed of angel investors from the Red River Valley. He also participates as an Entrepreneur Coach and Incubator Manager at the Univ. of North Dakota Center for Innovation. Greg has been active in angel investment and fund management since 2012, previously managing the Dakota Venture Group for two years while attending graduate school at the University of North Dakota. Additionally, Greg is a graduate of UND’s College of Business & Public Administration with a BS degree in Entrepreneurship and later earned his MBA from the school.
Paul Smith is regional director of the North Dakota Small Business Development Centers – Fargo. Paul brings more than 25 years of diverse business experience to his role with the SBDC, and he has a passion for helping entrepreneurs and small business owners start, manage and grow their organizations. The ND SBDC – Fargo Center, one of 10 offices across the state, provides expertise and assistance to start-up and existing small businesses in Cass, Steele and Traill counties. During the past year, the Center served nearly 200 clients and assisted in obtaining nearly $7M in capital. SBDC services include: Business start-up/registration, business plan development, financial analysis and projections, capital acquisition, market research, marketing and promotion, HR, business sale and purchase, exports and government contracting. All services are free to clients.
Chuck Hoge – North Dakota State University Research and Tech Park
Chuck Hoge is the executive director for the NDSU Research & Technology Park and has served on the board of directors for the park for most of its existence.
Chuck is the former CEO of Otter Tail Corporation manufacturing platform. Otter Tail is a company with diverse operations including electric utility and infrastructure businesses which include manufacturing, construction, and plastics.
He is the former president and CEO of Bobcat Company a leading provider of compact equipment for global construction, rental, landscaping, agriculture, grounds maintenance, government, utility, industrial and mining markets.
John Machacek – Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation
John Machacek is the SVP, Finance & Entrepreneurial Development for Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation. His #1 priority in life is appreciating every day and anytime with his wife and two kids. As a Fargo resident of 26 years with a knack for knowing things and knowing people, his job at GFMEDC suits him well as he enjoys educating and connecting others to help them succeed in business and life. In his career, he has also working in accounting, banking, and food service management.
John helps organize Startup Weekend Fargo, Startup Digest Fargo, and The Fargo Beat. He also serves as a Kiva U.S. Small Business Advisor and recently served as the Fargo-Moorhead Community Ambassador for Yelp.com to build up their local presence. John is currently on the boards for Fargo Theatre, MSUM Paseka School of Business, and North Dakota Small Business Development Centers. He is a 1995 graduate from MSUM, majoring in Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Management.
Andrew Allen – Dakota Venture Group
Andrew is the Chairman of Dakota Venture Group, one of the first fully student run venture capital funds in the United States, where he served previously as the Managing Director of Business Development. Andrew grew up in Grand Forks, ND and is currently attending the University of North Dakota pursuing degrees in both Entrepreneurship and Business Management. Additionally, he is interning as an Entrepreneur Coach at the UND Center for Innovation where he assists with the Mueller and Alerus Internship programs.