Last Friday marked the end of Arthur Ventures’ third annual CULTIVATE and events, a two-day affair intended to build up the entrepreneurial community of Fargo and the businesspeople leading that charge. Throughout Thursday, sessions were held in downtown Fargo to celebrate the entrepreneurs in which Arthur Ventures has formally invested. Speakers from across the nation, including Clate Mask of Infusionsoft and Endre Holen of McKinsey & Co., gave advice to the local business owners and the community at large. Small

What was designed as a partner conference – CULTIVATE – became a community wide event so that even more individuals could share in the networking and ideas shared. Arthur Ventures hopes to continue inspiring growth among companies and people who want to make a true impact on our world. is an extension of this desire by adding a higher level of inclusiveness into these crucial conversations.

Arthur Ventures invested in Infusionsoft, a company touted for its focus on developing a sense of culture and what seems like a cult following. Clate Mask, the man at the helm of the company, spoke at various events on Thursday as well as the community wide event at the historic Fargo Theatre on Friday morning. He later spoke with Emerging Prairie to give readers a bit more of his culturally-targeted insight. He urges the entire Fargo entrepreneurial community to be clear on its overall goals. This means a necessarily high level of transparency and ultimately a focus on a purpose that is bigger than any one individual or group. With these commitments, it is possible for the Fargo community to continue on its current trajectory.

As the community grows, though, it is sure to face more challenges. Doug Burgum, co-founder of Arthur Ventures, mentioned one of the toughest problems faced by Fargo is figuring out how to encourage graduated students to stay in the region. That group of academically trained individuals is essential for the enhancement of many organizations and the creation of new ones. The belief maintained by him and Arthur Ventures is that through a vibrant startup community, one that is supported by capital firms and other engaged organizations, Fargo has the ability to create new positions and organizations that want to solve tough problems.

As more and more students trade big paychecks for the ability to do work that matters in our overarching society, boasting of these opportunities has the potential to change how all people think about Fargo. In the end, it will take the effort and skills of the entire Fargo community as well as increased openness in events like to make Fargo one of the greatest places to live.

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Matt Gantz