By: Katie Hutton
We spent Wednesday morning talking tech at The Chamber’s State of Technology with a rock star lineup of speakers from around the region. The theme for the day came straight from Senator John Hoeven’s opening remarks: “North Dakota is THE state of technology.”
Below are a few of our key takeaways from the morning:
Take a chance
“We’re going to make our own destiny and make ourselves THE state of technology.” – Senator John Hoeven
A key theme for the event (and for entrepreneurism in general) was taking chances and taking charge. Consider Cooper Bierscheid. He and his co-founders started Protosthetics, an organization dedicated to helping families and children (seriously, check out their story ) while still in school at NDSU. They saw a need, took a chance and filled it.
And they were not alone. The day was filled with stories like theirs, of chances taken and ideas that became reality.
Adapt (and know your strengths)
“You have to learn to play to your strengths for promoting the commercialization of technology.” – Miguel Danielson, Danielson Legal
Another key takeaway was the ability to know your strengths and how to adapt to your environment. North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani spoke about higher education’s need to change the mindset about entrepreneurism. “We’re far better at creating IP than commercializing it or helping others to do so,” he said.
In response to the ever changing demands of the market and the fast paced growth of the entrepreneurial sector, President Bresciani said NDSU will start to offer programs for student entrepreneurism and innovation, which are long overdue in the Fargo area.
Miguel Danielson of Danielson Legal also said that it’s important to learn that all of us have different strokes. When considering commercializing technology or innovation, he cautioned the audience to not have a one size fits all mentality. Rather, play to your strengths and help your whole organization get on board. “Entrepreneurism must be adopted system wide and become part of your culture if it’s going to succeed,” he said.
Collaborate collaborate collaborate
“We need to foster and build an ecosystem that allows folks to jump out in their individual ventures, while at the same time collaborating.” – Corey Kratcha, C2Renew
A vital component to the success of entrepreneurship, and building the Fargo Moorhead and North Dakota business climate, is COLLABORATION.
Speakers heralded the connectivity of the community. Botlink noted that this was an essential component to getting their business off the ground. “There was such a sense of collaboration and cooperation in this community,” said Terri Zimmerman, CEO. “We connected with people who connected us with others in the community and around the globe.”
Every speaker on the panel championed the need to connect with one another and foster an environment of growth for all.
“We’re too small to not collaborate,” said Chad Ulven of C2Renew. “We all have to collaborate if we want to be global and make North Dakota known for technology.”