A lot happened in June. And we’re not just saying that. Here’s the highlight reel:
- Fargo’s second annual Drone Focus Conference brought in over 300 attendees from around the world.
- Global investor Paul Singh came to Fargo in his tricked out Airstream and stayed for a week. (Read his “very honest tips for Midwest tech hubs”)
- Senator Heidi Heitkamp (and Paul Singh) met with local founders at the Prairie Den.
- Entrepreneur and former Microsoft executive Doug Burgum won the GOP nomination for governor of North Dakota candidacy, essentially sealing his spot as governor of North Dakota. (Here’s what that could look like for the state’s tech sector.)
- The Federal Aviation Administration, at long last, released new regulations for commercial drones. And the drone industry responded positively. Win!
Here’s digging a bit deeper.
In one of the largest 1 Million Cups Fargo events to date, NDSU President Dean Bresciani announced that an anonymous donor put $4.5 million towards an entrepreneurship program for NDSU. The endowment is one the largest single gifts to higher education in the history of the state of North Dakota, Bresciani said.
“It is going to seize on momentum of events like this [1 Million Cups Fargo], seize on the momentum of individuals like you, and propel our state even further into the future,” he said.
Local startup in the prosthetics industry, Protosthetics, is throwing down and taking names. They recently launched an amphibian leg for amputees to use when they don’t want to ruin their more expensive prosthesis. In recent weeks they’re meeting with the top prosthesis firms in the country. Stay tuned for news from them.
CoSchedule is doing A-OK as well. This month they celebrated reaching $2 million in annual reoccurring revenue. Hoo-rah!
News from Abroad
Fargo natives abroad are doing some wicked cool stuff. Jonathan Dahl, who built and sold his last startup for $30 million, is building another one — and it’s already catching the eye of investors and publications like Inc and TechCrunch. Read more about this Fargo native and Y Combinator grad and his new software startup, Mux. (While he’s hustling in Silicon Valley, he said he still likes to get back to Fargo in the summer and enjoy the lakes. What a guy.)
Also making headlines is Fargo South grad Scott Gabrielson, who was featured on the front page of Fast Company this month on his fashion e-commerce company Oliver Cabell. Gabrielson is about more than making bags however; he’s aiming to flip the fashion world on its head. Read more.
Hi there, nice to meet you
It might not be a big deal when someone moves to Fargo, but considering Techstars facilitator Michael Norton has been to over 30 cities around the country, has a diverse array of expertise in the startup world, and recognized opportunity and positive energy in Fargo enough to move here — well, that’s saying something. Mr. Norton moved into the Fargo Startup House this summer and has some fascinating projects up his sleeve.
The beginning of July also signifies that TEDxFargo is right around the corner — just 21 days away. We’ve been getting more and more excited as ticket sales climb and everything falls into place, from a robust speaker line-up to magical plans from Livewire to transform the Fargo Civic Center once again.
We also spoke with past speakers about how TEDxFargo has shaped their lives. Read about them here:
Kayla Delzer, who is shaking up classrooms around the nation– one Tweet at a time.
Dr. Rajiv Shah, who spoke about the need for greater attention on pharmacists.
Ted Dintersmith, who believes that education should be more than preparation for standardized tests.
Bring on July
TEDxFargo is our biggest event of the year in Fargo, and it’s going to take over. We’ve got events planned before and after, speakers and cool-in-general people are flying in from around the world, and these streets will be alive with activity.
Summer is still going strong! Onwards!