The last month of 2014, come and gone! Although the break from 1 Million Cups may have deprived us of our weekly “church for entrepreneurs,” there was still a lot going on and a lot of growth for Fargo-Moorhead this holiday season.

The month kicked off with the biggest hackathon Fargo has seen yet, hosted at Myriad Mobile and showcasing a multitude of projects from local programmers, designers, and developers. (And sweet photos by Dan Francis Photography!)

From a pothole detecting app to an evolved version of tic-tac-toe, the night yielded some very innovative and clever ideas – and inspired others to keep the creativity going.

Screenshot 2014-12-11 16.42.36

Check out our full re-cap here!

This month we also featured a variety of meet-ups that are gaining traction here in Fargo. There’s NSFargo, a tech meet-up for the hardcore nerds, and the Fargo Game-maker Meetup for the relatively unknown but surprisingly large game-maker community in the F/M area.

Josh Christy and Matthew Sullivan also announced their exciting new project, Prairie I/O, which aims to further unite the tech community of Fargo and act as a resource for previously existing meet-ups. Their membership base continues to grow, and their weekly 1 Million Cups style meet-up will debut on January 10th, 3PM at the Boiler Room. Alex Roth from CoSchedule is their first speaker, and will cover – according to the website – “the difficulties involved when working with software environments outside of your control and how they as a company tackled this problem in the way they tailor the communication to their erratic-behaving integration endpoints.”

Josh Christy will also be sharing more about Prairie I/O and the company he founded, Codelation, at the first 1 Million Cups of the year – January 7, 2015 at 9:15 am at the Stage at Island Park. Don’t miss it!

Matthew Sullivan (left) Josh Christy (right)

Matthew Sullivan (left) Josh Christy (right)

During that first weekend of December, downtown Fargo was flooded with students from various different states for the annual BEST Robotics Competition, hosted by North Dakota State University. Teams came to pit their hand-crafted robots against the other robots in an epic battle at the Fargo Civic Center. Our story on the event is now featured on the BEST homepage (under BEST in the news). Read it here!

BEST Robotics
This month also saw a revolutionary new business partnership between the new Fargo branch of Specialisterne, and both Myriad Mobile and Appareo Systems. The partnership allows for the specialists at Specialisterne, professionals in the software testing field who have autism, to use their skills in a new and valuable capacity. The partnerships place Fargo at the forefront of a global movement aiming to change the labor paradigm.


JP McBride (left) and Zach Zaborney (right) working at Myriad Mobile.

Even without the actual event in place, we were also able to see the impact made by events like 1 Million Cups through the growth of Botlink, The drone software company announced they are hiring 6 employees and moving to a bigger office. Seeing this growth encourages the entire community, and illustrates how powerful connectivity and collaboration are – especially within the startup community.

Then there was the recent announcement that Dr. Greg Cant will be leaving Concordia and moving to a new community – which is of course bittersweet for those here in Fargo-Moorhead, in the loss of a great leader, but exciting for the Cant family and that new community they will be able to impact.

We were glad to see many old and new faces at our latest SUDs (Startup Drinks) event, and look forward to seeing everyone again at the first 1 Million Cups of the year on January 7. In fact, there’s a lot to look forward to next year: Bismarck is hosting their first ever Startup Weekend on January 23-25, and we recently announced the dates for Startup Weekend Fargo which will be held March 27-29.

As with most Decembers, the end of the month is wrapped up (quite literally) in presents, family, friends, travel – and suddenly, we’re bidding farewell to the last year and welcoming in the new one. Yet although it goes quickly, it’s exciting to see each month bring new stories and new growth, all with an energy that propels us from one month to the next.

We look forward to only more good things as we enter 2015!

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Marisa Jackels