After a year’s worth of interviewing entrepreneurs for a feature in Fargo INC magazine called “10 Questions with John Machacek“, I’ve met some interesting and exciting up-and-coming businesses.
Their stories and journeys are as diverse as the markets they serve. Some examples of their customer bases include health care facilities, field service workers, non-profits, bicycle enthusiasts, future homeowners, drone operators and more.
As the Chief Innovation Officer for the Greater FM Economic Development Corporation, it’s my job to support entrepreneurs so this year-long partnership has been ideal, not only in learning more about them but also providing them a platform for exposure.
These companies are all great examples of the entrepreneurs we connect with on a day-to-day basis, helping them with financing, connections, advice and more. Our region continues to generate new entrepreneurial activity, keeping us busy and keeping the economy thriving.
I plan to continue interviewing more entrepreneurs as we go further into 2021, so please watch for those in upcoming issues.
In the meantime, here is a summary of the first 12 features.
ZulaFly (March 2020) – ZulaFly is a multi-industry software and platform solution utilizing real-time locating systems. Stephanie Andersen, Lori Watson and the rest of the team have built this company while working totally remotely, which seemed more like a novel endeavor to many of us before one year ago!
Wanido (April 2020) – Wanido is a workforce analytics platform that measures organizational health while building trust and community within each and every company. They understand that disengaged employees have a negative financial impact on a company and they developed Wanido as a solution to engage and benefit all employees, at all hours of the day, across all divisions and locations.
QED Embedded (May 2020) – QED Embedded creates and offers embedded systems engineering solutions including custom electronics and software for clients, as well as other capabilities for web, database, and mobile software. QED is an example of a small primary-sector company that most of us will never hear of, but they are developing and integrating highly innovative technology into other businesses.
DonorDock (June 2020) – DonorDock is a relationship management platform that equips nonprofit organizations with the tools they need to cultivate deeper-impact donor relationships. CRM systems can be costly and daunting to integrate, but they’ve specifically designed DonorDock for small to midsize nonprofits to reduce a lot of that burden – a tool that has the features they need but in a package that is intuitive and fosters adoption
Set Your Rent (July 2020) – Set Your Rent is a platform and process that helps a potential home tenant-buyer who picks the home, then Set Your Rent buys it and sells it back to them as a lease option or contract-for-deed, sometimes called rent-to-own. As co-founder Adam Zach states, Set Your Rent is “literally changing lives” while also helping investors “get a modest return on their investment”. A win-win.
OmniByte Technology (August 2020) – OmniByte Technology is a software that improves the safety and work lives of field service personnel through their mobile technology platform. You may have seen their technology in action if you’ve ever had Laney’s at your home for a repair – the tech on their tablets is produced here locally by OmniByte! I was one of the first people Ray Berry met as he started his company in 2015, and it’s been a great pleasure to work with them on their growth.
WeClean (September 2020) – WeClean is a scalable, all-natural, contract-free home cleaning service utilizing their easy online booking platform that supports local products and partners. The founders have been very thoughtful and strategic as they’ve developed plans, revised the plans, formulated their market launches, and raised funding.
CoSchedule (October 2020) – CoSchedule is a software that offers a suite of marketing tools that transforms the way marketers plan, execute, and manage their marketing projects. CoSchedule’s Garrett Moon, and fellow co-founder Justin Walsh, have been great examples and advocates for tech entrepreneurship in North Dakota.
Power Plate Meals (November 2020) – Power Plate Meals is a healthy, ready-to-eat meal prep company that provides fresh, flavor-packed meals for busy individuals and families. The speed of their company growth and retail footprint is very impressive (9 locations in 3 states, with more than 70 employees)!
PushSave (December 2020) – PushSave provides a mobile coupon book and fundraising platform, where every customer gets to create their own personalized mobile book by selecting their favorite merchants from a list of local businesses. Their fundraising innovations have not only helped thousands of kids raise money better but have helped the app end-users save more than $2 million to date.
Field Of View (January 2021) – Field Of View is an aerial mapping technology company, and their GeoSnap systems help the photo-imagery of drone operators for geotagging and mapping. David Dvorak founded his company while in college and drone use was much more in its infancy.
Galeo Group (February 2021) – Galeo is a hardware & software tracking device packed with the latest in-motion sensing, GPS, and cellular technologies with the initial target market of bicycle theft solutions. They’ve created a system designed specifically to help protect, track, and recover your bike – watch for their upcoming Kickstarter!