Next Wednesday, on August 26, Senator John Hoeven and The Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce are hosting the State of Technology 2015 conference as a way to highlight local tech innovation. And they’ve got quite the lineup.


U.S. Senator John Hoeven will kick off the event, and share how he’s working on a national level to foster innovation throughout the state and the country. The former North Dakota governor says he believes “a commonsense approach that fosters free enterprise and empowers people to innovate and invest will strengthen our national economy, and create jobs for our country in a sustainable, ongoing way.”

We’ll dive right into some updates from local innovators, starting off with Fargo 3D Printing co-founder Jake Clark. He’ll talk about their latest company venture 3Dom USA, which provides unique manufacturing material for 3D printers and was created in collaboration with local startup C2Renew.

3D Printing spool

Oh, speaking of C2Renew, they’re next in line. Co-founders Corey Kratcha and Chad Ulven, the men-who-look-like-brothers-but-aren’t, will share how their biocomposite materials can be used for a variety of engineering needs. This past year they’ve been using their knowledge to innovate like crazy, including to create a biodegradable soil censor – which you’ll hear more about at the event.

bidegradable soil sensor





We’ll take a shift in gear to look at the educational aspect next, with President of NDSU Dean Bresciani taking the stage, alongside a guy named Miguel Danielson, founder of Danielson Legal LLC (and co-founder of a thing called Emerging Prairie). Now here’s why this is an interesting duo: often when students research and develop their ideas on a campus, property rights can get messy. By having a University president and a Harvard lawyer on stage together, they will share how a university can both foster ideas – and protect them.

We’ll also hear from Cooper Brischeid co-founder of Protosthetics, about their 3D-printed prosthetic arm development. They were able to bring the average cost of a prosthetic arm from $30K down to $400. He and his t3D Printed prosthetic armeam recently developed a prototype for a 3-year old named Jameson born without arms, and are now planning to offer prosthetics at low costs to all who need them.

The event will close with the impressive story of Botlink LLC, now a joint venture between Packet Digital and Aerobotic Innovations, led by Terri Zimmerman and Shawn Muehler. Last we heard from these two was on the stage at 1 Million Cups announcing they were raising $15 million. Now they’ll give us an update, as well as a look at the tech that Botlink is currently developing.

Botlink LLC

That’s all in the morning span of 8 am – 11 am. After some Q&A and closing remarks, it’ll be done by noon. That’s four hours of your day well spent, right there.

Naturally, we love that this event is happening – not just because the speakers are awesome (which they are) but because it’s like a big talent show for Fargo. We get to show off how much cool stuff is happening right here in our midst. And it’s pretty dang cool.

We hope to see you there next Wednesday! You can register here.

And if you’re about that Twitter life, make sure to use the hashtag #StateofTech15 for your posts. If you’re unable to join, we’ll be live-tweeting the event as well.

Gold sponsors of the event are Microsoft, Midcontinent Communications, Sanford Health, NDSU Research and Tech Park, and TMI Hospitality – thanks guys!

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Marisa Jackels