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Join us March 8-10 for North Dakota’s first Startup Weekend!  The event will begin at Friday night at ecce (216 Broadway), where individuals will pitch ideas and form teams.  Teams will be given the opportunity to work throughout the weekend at the newly remolded Loretta Building (210 Broadway).  Startup Weekend Fargo will culminate on Sunday night where teams will present their startups on the main stage at the historic Fargo Theatre (314 Broadway).

We are seeking the Red River Valley’s best developers, designers, and non-technicals.  At StartupWeekend Fargo you will start a company during a weekend together with a bunch of enthusiastic people.

  • Pitch an idea
  • Form a team
  • Build a prototype
  • Validate the market
  • Make a business model
  • Meet great people
  • Enjoy 7 great meals (included)
  • Celebrate with a post-party

From idea to business in 54 hours!



Mar 8
  • Registration Starts at ecce
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow
  • Teams move to Loretta Building


Mar 9
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Mar 10
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • FINAL PRESENTATIONS at Fargo Theatre
  • Judging & awards
  • Eats, drinks and fun!

Phil Soran

Keynote Speaker

Phil Soran is a serial entrepreneur in the technology field founding companies that have generated thousands of jobs.

Most recently, Phil was the founder, President and CEO of Compellent Technologies which started in 2002. Dell acquired Compellent for $960 Million dollars in February of 2011. Phil retired as the President of Dell/Compellent in March of 2012 . Compellent was founded in Phil’s basement, went public on the NYSE in 2007, and was one of the fastest growing storage companies in the world before acquisition.

Previously, Phil served as chief executive officer and president of XIOtech Corp, a network storage vendor that he co-founded in his basement in 1995. XIOtech was purchased by Seagate in January of 2000 for $360M. Phil also held various management, sales, marketing, and technical positions at IBM for 10 years, including business unit executive for the PC and networking group. Phil serves on the board of SPS Commerce, Help Systems, and Hutchinson Technology, and also served on the board of directors of Stellent from 2003 to 2006 prior to its acquisition by Oracle.

Before he went into IT, Phil started his career as a junior high math teacher in Colorado.He was born and raised in Denver Colorado.

Since retirement, which Phil calls half time, he has focused much of his time on philanthropic efforts such as microfinance and education reform – trying to add his experience as an entrepreneur and a former educator to help improve our competitive position. He is involved with several high performance inner city charter schools, Teach for America, and the Education Transformation Initiative.

Heather McDougall


Heather is an honors law school graduate turned social entrepreneur. Currently, she is CEO of start-up toothbrush company, Bogobrush. Bogobrush is a beautiful, completely biodegradable, buy one give one toothbrush that was born out of think tank, ShareProject. Heather co-founded Bogobrush and ShareProject with her brother, John, in 2011. The real beginning to Heather’s story is in Jamestown, ND, where she and John were born and raised. After graduating from Jamestown High School, Heather earned her Bachelors degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and then her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, MN. While in school, Heather’s work experiences included work for lobbying and fundraising campaigns, as well as business plan analysis and investor research for venture capital attorney and investor, Brad Lehrman. Through it all, Heather’s passion for social and sustainability issues grows, and fuels her to make a balanced, and meaningful impact on the world.

Doug Burgum

Event Host

Doug Burgum, entrepreneur and philanthropist, is chairman of the board and an investor of Atlassian, the leading provider of collaboration software for product teams. He is also Executive Chairman of Intelligent InSites, a leading provider of enterprise real-time location systems (RTLS) software & board member of Preventice. He was a board member and investor of SuccessFactors, a cloud-based leader in business execution software, from October 2007 to February 2012. He served as chairman of the board from June 2010 to February 2012 when SAP acquired SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion.

He is founder and chairman of Kilbourne Group, a company committed to inspiring and supporting the redevelopment and revitalization of downtown Fargo, North Dakota, and is co-founder and chairman of Arthur Ventures, a Fargo-based venture capital group that focuses on early-stage software companies, with a concentration on healthcare.

A graduate of North Dakota State University (NDSU) and Stanford University Graduate School of Business (MBA), Doug worked at the Chicago office of McKinsey & Co. until 1983, when he returned to his native North Dakota and literally “bet the farm” for the seed capital for Great Plains Software, Inc., then a very small startup company in the fledgling PC software industry. He served Great Plains in executive roles including chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors. Driven by a strong vision and powerful dream, he led Great Plains to a worldwide presence and to its successful initial public offering in 1997. Microsoft Corporation acquired the company in 2001 for $1.1 billion. From April 2001 to August 2007, Doug served as senior vice president at Microsoft Corporation.

Doug has received honorary doctorate degrees from NDSU (2000) and the University of Mary (2006). In 2012, he joined the advisory board of the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Raikes School is a specialized honors program that focuses on computer science and management.

In 2009, then-North Dakota Governor John Hoeven presented Doug with the state’s highest honor, the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award. Doug’s philanthropic efforts focus on youth, education, and the arts.


James Burgum

Arthur Ventures

James B. Burgum is the Managing Director of Arthur Ventures LLC. Prior to co-founding Arthur Ventures, James was President of Advenio Partners LLC, a small private equity firm that invested in turnaround projects as well as regional seed and early-stage investments. Previously, James worked at the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO), a public-private partnership that assists companies of North Dakota in finding international business partners and customers. Prior to his work at the North Dakota Trade Office James spent three years working for Governor John Hoeven advising the Governor and the Legislature on youth policy and international trade. James holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from NDSU. James currently serves on the board of directors at Arthur Companies Inc., a diversified agri-business, AltraVax Inc., Intelligent InSites Inc. and Workface Inc.

Susan Mathison

Catalyst Medical Center

Dr. Susan Mathison, a Fargo native, made her dream come true when she left a large multi-specialty clinic and started Catalyst Medical Center as an independent physician. She compassionately cares for patients, specializing in Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), head/neck surgery and facial plastic surgery. She also provides treatment for allergies, sleep disorders and skincare. She is passionate about total wellness.

Shane Neuerburg

Co-founder of Dwolla

I, Shane Neuerburg, am a startup fanatic. A computer science graduate of UND, I've been creating new things, and improving existing ones since a child. In 2008, I co-founded Dwolla and recently have been helping out BreadVault, a Fargo-based startup.

Miguel Danielson

Danielson Legal

Miguel Danielson is a Fargo native and owner of Danielson Legal, LLC, a boutique intellectual property law firm based in Boston and serving clients across the country and the globe. Miguel advises some of the hottest tech companies from coast to coast while splitting his time between Fargo, Boston, and wherever the best tennis action is to be found. Miguel holds a B.S. in Management Information Systems from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. from Harvard University.

Joe Sandin


Joe Sandin is the President & CEO of Onsharp, an interactive agency that architects, builds and supports web-based solutions that was recently named Small Business of the Year by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. Joe is a high energy, dedicated and passionate entrepreneur who values hard work, honesty and a can-do attitude. Joe is a 2002 graduate of The University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, MN with a degree in Computer Information Systems. Last year, Joe was named both Entrepreneur of the Year by the MarketPlace of Ideas and Entrepreneur of the Year by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. Having owned and operated Onsharp for more than 12 years, Joe understands the importance of technology and has a proven track record of building teams that work successfully with businesses to provide solutions that meet clients’ specific needs. He values a positive attitude, strong communication and a professionalism in every one of his business relationships and encourages those same values within his own organization

Jon Strinden

Fredrickson & Byron

Jon is a shareholder in the Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Equity & Venture Capital, and Emerging Business Groups. His focus is working with closely held businesses and providing general legal and business services with a concentration on mergers and acquisitions and providing assistance on capital issues.

Jon is a frequent lecturer at Continuing Legal Education seminars on business and tax topics, including North Dakota Sales & Use Tax Law

Jim Gartin

Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation (GFMEDC)

Jim Gartin serves as President of the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation (GFMEDC). The GFMEDC is a public-private partnership that works to grow and diversify the economy in Cass County, N.D., and Clay County, Minn. by attracting, retaining and expanding primary-sector businesses, providing regional workforce development programming and entrepreneurial development services.
Prior to accepting his position in Fargo, Jim was president and CEO of the Lenawee Economic Development Corporation in Adrian, MI. Gartin also was the Executive Director of Business Development at Ann Arbor Spark in Ann Arbor, MI prior to that.
Gartin has spent more than 40 years in economic development and commercial real estate and his extensive experience in business development, operations and financial analysis brings unique strengths to the Fargo Moorhead region building upon the success of the GFMEDC.
Jim earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University.

Johnathon Rademacher


Johnathon Rademacher is an executive with more than 14 years of technical consulting and innovation experience. He has a proven track record setting technical direction and implementing complex integrated solutions for Fortune 500 clients and large enterprises.
As Chief Technology Officer, Johnathon is a senior member of the Sundog leadership team responsible for long-term organizational and strategic planning.
In addition to his role as an Officer, Johnathon leads the technical consulting practice including Architecture, Mobile Engineering, Quality Assurance, Software Engineering, and Web Development Teams.

Johnathon is an evangelist for cloud, mobile and social technologies. He works directly with clients as an Architect implementing technical solutions that leverage technologies from Amazon EC2/S3, Apple iOS, Facebook, Google Android/AppEngine/Apps, Informatica Cloud, Marketo and Salesforce Force/Sites/Siteforce.
Johnathon is a graduate of the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and holds a Master of Science degree in Software Engineering from the University of St. Thomas. He enjoys spending time with his family, skiing, electronics, photography and the outdoors

Cathy King

World Vets

Dr. Cathy King has been a veterinarian for 16 years and is the founder and CEO of World Vets, an international veterinary aid organization. At the age of 19 she started her first business (a college-town property management company) that ended up funding her undergraduate education. During graduate and professional school she worked full time as a research technician at a biotechnology company and then after graduation went on to work as a mixed animal veterinarian and later opened her own veterinary hospital. During that time, a volunteer trip to Mexico inspired the idea for World Vets, which got its start with nothing more than an idea and a donation jar collecting spare change at the front desk of her veterinary clinic. Within two years, World Vets had grown so large that she sold her practice to provide full time leadership for the organization. World Vets is now one of the largest veterinary aid organizations in the world, working in 36 countries on 6 continents. Dr. King holds a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science and master’s degree in animal science from the University of Idaho, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Washington State University and a PhD in Physiology from the University of Idaho, all of which she completed by the age of 25. She and her husband Mike enjoy living in Fargo with their two dogs.


Dave Batcheller

Appareo Systems – President & COO

Throughout the company’s rapid growth and commercial success as a provider of custom design electronics and software applications, Dave has worked to fill gaps in the company’s roster (wearing a number of different “hats”), having roles in everything from purchasing, sales, marketing, and development until the commencement of his current stint in operations. In his current role as President & COO, Dave oversees the operation of the company’s Fargo, Phoenix, and Paris locations, with responsibilities for Finance, Administration, Engineering, and Production.
Dave is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and resides in Fargo with his wife and daughters.

Dave Gorman

Infinite Leap, LLC

Dave Gorman has created web applications professionally for 15 years. Programming during the transition of rapid web development technologies like Active Server Pages and Perl to modern enterprise languages of c# and java

Mark Rheault

Infinite Leap, LLC

President, Infinite Leap and Social Entrepreneur

I enjoy starting and growing both for-profit and not-for-profit businesses that have the potential to make the world a better place. I particularly have a lot of passion for improving healthcare through the use of innovative technologies.

Eric Ista


Eric Ista, better known as Fish, has over 15 years of agency experience creating integrated concepts and designs for every level of client from local startups to Fortune 500 companies. Currently, Fish serves as Senior Marketing Strategist for Sundog, a marketing and technology company in Fargo, ND. Fish graduated from the MState Commercial Art program in 1997. He now teaches an interactive design class there. In 2012 he co-developed DSGNX, an organization that plans events and workshops where designers and community members come together to share their passion for all things design.In his spare time, Fish enjoys “making things out of stuff” by repurposing old or broken items into something new and useful. His work has been featured in ReadyMade magazine and on a number of websites in the DIY community.

Greg Tehven
Andy Christensen
Jim Gartin
Maribeth Joraanstad
Jake Joraanstad
John Machacek
Miguel Danielson
Ashley Morken
Lisa Gulland-Nelson
Josh Christy
Shane Neuerburg
Cathryn Erbele
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