It’s fitting that the last month of the year brought on some of the biggest wins yet for Fargo.
What better way to wrap up the year than with Fortune Magazine, calling Fargo, “America’s Most Undervalued Tech Hub”? And not long after, on Christmas Day, The New York Times came out with a front page article calling North Dakota a “Silicon Valley for drones.”
December was a good month for many startups. Simply Made Apps, a local company that develops mobile apps, announced double the amount of growth and quit contract work to focus heavily on their app, Simple In/Out.
Myriad Mobile partnered with fraternity Phi Delta Theta to build an app that is now connecting thousands of Phi Delta brothers.
Spotlight Media also announced a big step: they are launching a new publication focused primarily on covering Fargo’s startup/business scene, a monthly magazine called Fargo Inc!
Concordia College also is taking strides to leverage the tech hub in its backyard, with efforts lead by the new Dean of the Offutt School of Business, Dr. Brewer Doran. She is currently working with faculty to launch a new computer science program in 2016, with “the blessing of the tech community,” she said.
Connections around the world
The hugely successful initial public offering of Atlassian, Australia software company, rocked the entire world – but has intimate connections to good ol’ Fargo through Doug Burgum, Atlassian’s Chairman of the Board. We got an exclusive interview with him just a day before the IPO went live in New York, which you can read here.
Perhaps one of the most unexpected success stories comes to us from the tiny town of Ada, MN, where Edie Ramstad and her team of 14 are making chainmaille in a converted warehouse. They now ship over 1 million jumprings a day and have customers in over 61 different countries.
Evaluating capital investing in North Dakota
Not everything is peachy in North Dakota, some argue, particularly in the investor landscape. We published an in depth look at how money is being invested here in North Dakota in this article. Sources raised concern that policy and risk-adversity with state money is a barrier to startup growth. This problem, they say, will only hinder the city from becoming a flourishing tech hub.
A new financial firm in Moorhead, Future Bright, is hoping to add some remedy to the solution by offering consulting on investing. Future Bright uses Motif Investing to aid users in making investments they can understand, and said private equity is something they may consider in the future.
A report from the University of North Dakota center for Innovation Foundation also reported a positive outlook. They announced that the Dakota Venture Group’s Harvest Fund I closed with $1.4 million raised from 25 angel investors from 8 states. Additionally, the 701 Angel Fund is being launched through their Foundation, a $3-$5 million statewide angel fund.
Emerging Prairie is alive
Normally there isn’t anything about Emerging Prairie in these reviews, but it felt fitting to include a small update here as December was a big month. On January 6, the Prairie Den coworking space will celebrate it’s 6 month birthday. It is now home to over 100 members and 3 organizations. This is a huge win/sigh of relief, and only made possible by the incredible support of our community. Additionally, Emerging Prairie announced this month that it has officially filed for non-profit status. Big steps lie ahead for 2016.
More good stuff:
Read The Forum’s review on business in North Dakota: “2015 was a year of growth for the Fargo-Moorhead business scene.”
Come celebrate a phenomenal year with us at 1 Million Thanks: our annual party where we celebrate our community and say thank you for your support. We’ll give out awards for exceptional community leaders, have a champagne toast and dance to D Mills and the Thrills. Claim your ticket here!