Dan Hodgson is grateful to entrepreneurs that have gone before him. As a child that grew up on a farm in North Dakota and later graduated from college in the region, Dan has built a strong network as a venture capitalist and entrepreneur. His most recent endeavor includes providing leadership for FarmQA as its President.

The Network Built

Dan Hodgson is originally from Cavalier, North Dakota and attended college at both Oak Hills Christian College and
Bemidji State University. Over the course of his career, Dan has made the most of business opportunities. In Wahpeton, he founded the Southern Valley Innovation Center to address a manufacturing need in the city. “We created a local fund and built a network of entrepreneurs and raised venture capital for the purpose of multiplying businesses in the region,” explained Dan.

The venture capital path for Dan was paved from this initiative and in 2010 he became the Managing Director and Partner of Linn Grove Ventures, which funds start-ups in agriculture, food, and health. “The network of relationships formed over my career led to the formation of this venture fund…..I came to understand that this region was a center for innovation in agriculture where we could build more companies,” shared Dan. Linn Grove Ventures was the only venture fund centered on agriculture and food when it was founded, and now it remains one of only a few in the country.

FarmQA was a byproduct of the entrepreneurial network within the agriculture tech industry in the region. Dan recalls meeting with the Dahls (Howard, John, and Brian), Barry Batcheller, and Thor Iverson to create a company that was focused on software solutions for increasing crop and food production. “‘Give it leadership’ was my charge from the team of co-cofounders,” explains Dan. Since that meeting leading to the launch of FarmQA in 2014, the team raised capital funds with the end goal of creating a large sustainable company based in Fargo.

The New Company Created

“The name FarmQA refers to the goal of creating quality and assurance practices needed in agriculture through the use of sensors technology and custom created software,” explained Dan. The team realized there was an unmet need in the market for a company that would focus on bringing sensors and software to improve the process of raising food, namely crops. FarmQA provides clients with software solutions combined with sensor hardware in the agriculture industry.

From the home base in Fargo, this start-up is utilizing connections around the world including Ukraine and Russia. Dan shared a key to success for FarmQA is found in “listening to the advice of those who have gone before in the industry… and establishing a terrific team that can work together.” The founding team of FarmQA has set the course for a successful, thriving company that seeks to optimize the processes of food and crop production around the world.

Learn more from Dan Hodgson and FarmQA as he speaks at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 at 9:15 a.m. at The Stage at Island Park.

Brent McNeal