Written by: Austin Sandmeyer

Someone recently asked me what my most insightful experience was while attending college at NDSU, and truthfully, the answer wasn’t that hard. It was my time spent getting to know the Fargo-Moorhead Community. From the amazing TedxFargo event that highlights local and regional inspirational thought leaders to Startup Days and 1 Million Cups, each moment opened my eyes a little bit more and more to the world around me and in my backyard. (And isn’t that what college is supposed to do?)

Okay, great Austin. But where did that start?

It all started about 4 years ago in the fall when I went to my first 1 Million Cups Fargo. So here’s the thing, I wasn’t sure what is was, I was “asked” by the professor to attend (which really just means if you don’t go you might lose points) and only knew it had something to do with entrepreneurship. Lucky for me, it surpassed my expectations and has since continued to raise the bar. A local person, just like me, was on the stage pitching their idea, business, and a concept of the future and EVERYONE was attentively listening and working hard to think of how they can help push this person forward. You could almost see the smoke coming out of peoples’ heads as they were closely listening and working through the idea’s potential shortcomings.

This was amazing. Then I found out they do it every week and was blown away. That was my first taste of Emerging Prairie.

One of the craziest things I noticed about 1 Million Cups Fargo was that while it did lean towards a “Business” background crowd there were people from all walks of lives in the room. Doctors, nurses, professors, deans, high school students, college students, bank presidents, retired military, and who knows who else! That’s different and necessary. The ability to bring together a group of people with diverse thoughts about the world and to have them push a thought forward was incredibly insightful to learn. A world of only business professionals would be a sad, sad world. This is something I’ve come to appreciate more and more as my studies have come to a close.

But here’s the fun thing – 1 Million Cups isn’t the only thing Emerging Prairie does. No, no, no… their history and current roster of events and programs are impressive in delivering high-quality experiences.

So why should College Students be involved?

I’ll bring you back up to an earlier sentence. “A world of only business professionals would be a sad, sad world.” A world of only college students would also be a sad, sad world. Emerging Prairie and their events like 1 Million Cups, Drone Focus, Cart Summit, TedxFargo, and of course, their quirky headquarters and co-working space the Prairie Den are the perfect vehicles to expand your thought bubbles outside of college students and immerse yourself in the community.

Emerging Prairie and the Prairie Den offer the perfect environment to explore the world around you.

Not everything is stocks and bonds. Nor equations and formulas. Or even debt and equity. The Fargo-Moorhead community has so many opportunities waiting for you and Emerging Prairie is waiting with open arms for you college students.

Explore their Facebook page and events and tell the team Austin sent you.

Emerging Prairie