Frequently Used Resources
Small Business Development Centers
Our local SBDCs are often one of the first referrals we make for things like business planning, financial forecasting, market research and more. Our regional North Dakota office is at the NDSU Research Park. The Minnesota office is on the campus of Concordia College. In addition to the SBDCs, our local SCORE office has volunteer mentors to help entrepreneurs talk through their ideas and plans, and the ND Women’s Business Center has a Fargo office to help provide programs to support entrepreneurs from business start-up to expansion through a variety of services and resources.
State Entrepreneur Grants
New startups in North Dakota may apply for Innovate ND which not only provides opportunities for entrepreneurial assistance and mentorship, but also enables the startups to access up to $40,000 in funds through a combination of reimbursements and grants.
In Minnesota, innovative and scalable technology businesses may apply for Launch Minnesota grants for business operation expenses (max. $35,000 match), housing/childcare expenses (max. $7,500 match), and SBIR-STTR Phase 2 (max. $50,000).
ND Development Fund/Bank of North Dakota
ND entrepreneurs have the advantage of the funding possibilities provided by ND Development Fund and the nation’s only state-owned financial institution, Bank of North Dakota. ND Development Fund provides gap financing through loans and equity investments not available from most conventional lenders. Bank of North Dakota has been an agile partner with lenders. They reduce exposure on financing early-stage companies as well as established businesses.
Other programs (funding; job; tax) sometimes accessed by our entrepreneurs can be found on our Site Selection/Relocate/Expand section.
Depending on your stage and type of business, the CO.STARTERS program may be something to consider to help you talk through your business ideas. Participants meet weekly for 9 weeks to identify, test and adapt their business assumptions.
Update: due to COVID-19, CO.STARTERS is currently operating as a different model – CO.STARTERS Rebuild. This live-facilitated, 10-session program will help you refocus your business, stabilize it, and build toward long-term recovery.
A Space to Work
If you are ready for traditional office space, there are a wide variety of local realtors to assist you. However, if you’re more in the stage for short-term space, we can connect you with places like Prairie Den, Regus, NDSU RTP Incubator, Regional Small Business Center or other great spaces.
While formal resource programs can help startups progress faster, everyone here agrees that the personal connections you will make through the ecosystem providers and peer-to-peer discussions are invaluable. We’ll assist with that but you may also look to many local opportunities to engage.