Page 1

Welcome William L. Paulin, Ph.D. page 2

UAS Test Site Designation page 5

Congrats Autumn Graber page 7

March 2014

Gjovig Receives the Ronald Reagan Award


t the 50th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Bruce Gjovig became the 2014 recipient of the Ronald Reagan Award, an honor given annually to a leader who is fighting in the trenches for the conservative principles embodied by President Ronald Reagan. Around 11,000 individuals were in attendance at the annual conference in National Harbor, Maryland. In presenting the award, Chairman Al Cardenas said, “Bruce Gjovig, during his tenure as the leader of the Center for Innovation for 30 years, built the organization into a force for entrepreneurship and innovation nationwide fostering free enterprise and capitalism. The entrepreneur center has helped about 700 ventures launch that employ over 6,000 people plus the entrepreneur center has inspired thousands of students to be innovative and entrepreneurial for a lifetime. That impact is immeasurable.” Gjovig started the Center for Innovation

after being inspired by President Ronald Reagan’s message to unleash the potential of individuals through private enterprise rather than dependency on government. The center was among the very first entrepreneur outreach centers in the nation when it was launched in 1984. Today entrepreneurship is a strong national movement to create new employers, foster innovation and grow the economy. The Center for Innovation has received 14 national and international awards for excellence and remains a leader in innovative programming. “It is humbling to receive the national Ronald Reagan Award, named after the President who helped America restore its economy and greatness - at home and abroad - after the terrible malaise, a gruesome economy-killing inflation rate of 13.5%, and a dangerously high unemployment rate in the late 1970s,” Gjovig said. “A photograph of President Ronald Reagan hangs in my office and it continues to inspire me 30 years later,” he added. continued on page 2

Gjovig’s Jargon

“Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders”. - - Ronald Reagan

Reagan Award continued from page 1 “You can never go wrong by unleashing the creative genius of ordinary people allowing them to create extraordinary ventures that provide employees economic freedom and independence in the process. Reagan believed in the genius of small business owners.” “The winners of this award, our highest honor, are not household names, but the men and women working in the trenches who sacrifice much, make great strides and in so doing set an example for others,” Cardenas said. “Bruce Gjovig exemplifies these qualities.” The American Conservative Union is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization. The American Conservative Union Foundation’s annual CPAC meeting is the largest gathering of conservatives, including the most prominant presidential canidates•


March 2014

UND Entrepreneur Department & UND Center for Innovation Welcome William L. Paulin, Ph.D.


illiam L. Paulin, Ph.D. recently joined the Department of Entrepreneurship and the Center for Innovation at the University of North Dakota (UND). Paulin is the department’s new Professor of Entrepreneur Practice and is serving as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Center for Innovation for the spring semester of 2014. The Center for Innovation Foundation’s trustees established the professors of entrepreneur practice position to aid in the growth of entrepreneurship and the department. Paulin will teach Entrepreneurship 450, Venture Implementation, the College of Business’s capstone business planning course. He will also work with entrepreneurs and special projects for both the Department of Entrepreneurship and the Center for Innovation. Paulin’s background in domestic and international entrepreneurship makes him a valued addition to the department and the Center for Innovation. While calling Prescott, Arizona home, he taught entrepreneurship at four U.S. and two European universities and helped establish entrepreneurship programs at the University of Southern California and the University of San Diego. A particularly special moment in his career was working side-by-side with entrepreneurial education pioneer, Dr. Karl Vesper, at the University of Washington. Paulin received his engineering degree (BSME) from the University of California at Berkeley. He went on to earn his MBA in finance and PhD in strategic management from the University of Washington, where he first met Dr. Vesper. Paulin worked as an aerospace

engineer for Boeing and other major corporations. He has participated on boards and in advisory roles for 38 companies, 9 universities and 4 government institutions in the U.S. and in Europe. He worked in Finland with Finnish entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprise, and is currently a partner in a consulting firm, PaulinNeal Associates. “The addition of Dr. Paulin to our team is so important in moving our program forward,” said Tom Clement, chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship. “I am excited for our students, as they are the true benefactors of all the experience Dr. Paulin will bring to the classroom.” Center for Innovation Director Bruce Gjovig added “This is such great news for UND and especially the students in our entrepreneurship program. The experience Bill brings to the table is truly invaluable.” • For more information contact: William L. Paulin, Ph.D. Entrepreneur in Residence 701.777.5507

UND Center for Innovation Welcomes Tyler Okerlund

Northern Plains Nitrogen Reaches Seed Capital Goal Funds help lift North Dakota business participation in federal innovation programs


yler Okerlund has joined the Center for Innovation as the state director for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program. His role is helping small businesses secure federal SBIR/STTR funding for research and development (R&D) activities as well as coaching entrepreneurs through utilizing other Center for Innovation programs. Recognizing that high-tech innovation thrives in entrepreneurial settings which often lack the resources for research and development, eleven federal agencies reserve a percentage of their research and development budgets for small businesses. SBIR/STTR grants and contracts are awarded to fund research and development that encourages the commercialization of new technologies. Okerlund previously worked at the Grand Forks Air Force Base and North Dakota Small Business Development Center where he focused on procurement and contracting. His background as a contracting specialist brings current and relevant information to SBIR/

STTR awardees who are ready for commercialization and clients who want to do business with local, state, and federal government agencies. Okerlund is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and North Dakota Army National Guard. He earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Mary and a bachelor’s of business administration degree with a major in marketing from the University of North Dakota. • For more information contact: Tyler Okerlund SBIR/STTR Program Director 701.777.6623

enter for Innovation incubator tenant, Northern Plains Nitrogen (NPN) has reached its seed capital fundraising goal. NPN Board President Darin Anderson recently told the Red River Farm Network that the $3 million minimum was exceeded. This money will go toward building a world-scale nitrogen fertilizer plant at Grand Forks, North Dakota. “The project is definitely moving forward, there’s no doubt about that,” Anderson said. He expects the engineering study to begin within the next month. Although the plant will not be able to lower fertilizer prices, Anderson said investors will be able to use their dividends to help offset the cost. The seed capital for the new plant was raised within a matter of a few months and Anderson says there will be more investment opportunities in the future. Total cost for the plant is estimated at $1.8 billion. •

March 2014


EB-5 Regional Center Expands


he North Dakota/Minnesota EB-5 Regional Center, in collaboration with Rochester-based EB-5 Ventures, now serves the entire state of Minnesota. Operations in the Rochester office will be headed by Mark Dickson and Larry Gensmer, both natives of Minnesota. Dickson and Gensmer have decades of experience in project development and project management, specifically in the healthcare and real estate industries. The opening of this branch office comes at an opportune time with the announcement of Mayo Clinic’s expansion plans. Mayo recently launched a 20-year, $5 billion plan to remake its flagship campus. The plan includes $327 million in state aid which will fund improvements to public facilities in Rochester, a Minnesota town that is projected to grow by 32,000 residents over the next 20 years. The regional center aims to take part in this growth by introducing EB-5 funding to the Mayo community. EB-5 Ventures has identified a number of potential Minnesota projects for EB-5 investors and has plans to broaden the regional center’s international footprint by expanding investor and agent relations into new markets including the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East.


March 2014

EB-5 Program Background The Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5”, is a job creation visa program. The program was created in 1990 by Congress and is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The purpose of an EB-5 regional center is to stimulate economic development, create jobs, and improve regional productivity through direct foreign investment, while providing eligible foreign investors an opportunity to become permanent U.S. residents. The EB-5 program requires a minimum capital investment of $1 million in a qualified project. If the investment is in a targeted employment area then the minimum investment is lowered to $500,000. Target Economic Areas (TEA) are defined as a rural area (population of less than 20,000) or an area experiencing high unemployment (at least 1.5x the national average). As a result of the investment a total of at least 10 full-time direct and indirect U.S. jobs must be created per investor. • For more information contact: Mickayla Zinsli Director 701.738.2435

North Dakota Receives UAS Test Site Designation from FAA


Grand Forks County, ND

orth Dakota was recently selected as one of six United States test sites for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the sites will conduct testing and research in areas necessary to ensure the safe integration of UAS into the national airspace. Seeking cross-country diversity, the federal agency considered factors such as geography, climate, location of ground infrastructure, research needs, airspace use, safety, aviation experience and risk. There were 25 applicants from 24 states competing for this designation. The five other applicants winning test site designations included the University of Alaska, the state of Nevada, New York’s Griffiss International Airport, Texas A&M University, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. In a recent Grand Forks Herald article, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. was quoted, “We’ve really put all the elements in place to be the premier center. But it would be much harder to continue to build the Grand Forks region as one of the key centers if we weren’t one of the six places in the country where you could fly manned and unmanned aircraft in the same airspace. So this was critical for us.” Recognizing the economic development potential of having a test site located in the state, the North Dakota legislature has appropriated $5 million to fund activities related to the UAS test site. Nationwide, UAS is projected to create more than 100,000 jobs with an economic

impact of $82 billion within a decade. A related initiative, Grand Forks County is working with the U.S. Air Force to develop Grand Sky, a UAS tech park at the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Following the announcement of North Dakota’s test site designation, interest from companies involved with UAS and related technologies is expected to increase. Grand Sky will provide an ideal location for major companies seeking to establish locations in the state and for startups that will support UAS operations and the data they collect. In the meantime, the UND Center for Innovation’s incubators stand ready to accommodate future Grand Sky tenants. • For more information contact: Robert Becklund Executive Director Northern Plains UAS Authority 701.777.6330

March 2014


Innovate ND Program Features New Incentives for Entrepreneurs The vision of Innovate ND is to cultivate a statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem that is supported by educational content, technical expertise, and business resources to inspire, promote, and support innovation.


ince 2006, Innovate ND has served more than 450 entrepreneurs, startups, and early-stage ventures by providing a comprehensive and structured educational curriculum and one-on-one coaching through certified entrepreneurial centers to guide entrepreneurs on how to build new ventures. To enhance the program, an updated Innovate ND strategic plan was implemented this year. The revised program was built upon previous successes and brand development efforts. This more competitive and comprehensive program is aimed at accelerating venture formation and growth in the state. This phase-based Innovate ND program is targeted to offer the right support at the right stage of business development. The new Innovate ND program features vouchers made available to the participants that can be used for services such as coaching, consulting services at an entrepreneurial center, business plan creation, prototype development


and marketing assistance. Vouchers in phase I of the program are worth up to $2,500. Additional vouchers are available as the business grows and the entrepreneur advances to phases II and III. Innovate ND boot camps are day-long workshops addressing key topics relevant to an entrepreneur growing a business. They will be held in the spring and fall of the year and the participant can attend at any stage of their business development. An online class is available when a participant signs up for the program. The Innovate ND program features a new website and will serve as a resource for the program’s participants as well as for any entrepreneur looking to begin or expand a business. The website will offer content and an online forum to encourage networking. The Innovate ND competitions held in the spring of each year have also changed. Participants can choose from two competitions,

depending upon the stage of their venture. An idea competition has been established for idea-based startups and can serve as a starting point to launch ideas to the next level. For more advanced businesses that are ready to seek capital, the venture competition has been created, where Innovate ND will work with venture capital and angel investment funds to find opportunities for funding. • For more information contact: Elisabeth Knapp 701.777.3281 Innovate ND

noun \i-nə-'vā-shən\ 1: the introduction of something new 2: a new idea, method, or device


March 2014

Dakota Venture Group Update


he Dakota Venture Group (DVG) recently added eight new members, bringing the group’s total membership to twenty-five. Many new members have taken on leadership roles. The DVG managing directors recently attended a private equity summit presented by the University Venture Fund in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the students had a unique opportunity to learn from professionals with exceptional private equity and entrepreneurial experience. While attending the summit, DVG members were able to network with other students from around the nation who share similar passions for entrepreneurship and investing.

Recent DVG guest speakers have included Kevin Moug from Ottertail Power Corp. and Brian Johnson from Choice Financial. Representatives from Arthur Ventures spoke to the group about due diligence. In addition to learning from professionals in the field, DVG members are actively pursuing the development of the Harvest Fund. • For more information contact: Greg Syrup 701.741.6259

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, and become more…you are a leader.” -- John Quincy Adams

Dakota Venture Group

Young Professional Entrepreneur of the Year


he UND Center for Innovation recently presented the first Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals’ Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Autumn Graber. The award was established to recognize a young professional who has provided a strong contribution to the community, strives to make a positive change, and boasts a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Over the last decade Graber has met these standards and made her own entrepreneurial dream come true. Autumn Graber, owner of Graber Media, publishes a women’s quarterly publication in the Devils Lake area called Lake Region Woman, and a bimonthly women’s publication, Grand Cities Woman, for the Grand Forks area. Graber is the editor in chief as well as photographer, writer and designer for both publications.

To qualify for the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals’ Entrepreneur of the year award, the nominee/applicant must be a Member of the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals organization and meet/display at least 4 of the following 6 criteria: 1. 3+ years’ entrepreneurial and work experience 2. Shows entrepreneur spirit 3. Drive or utilize innovation in their company or organization 4. Own business/part owner of a business 5. Have a new community project/engagement 6. Strive to produce positive change •

March 2014


NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center Norm Skalicky Tech Incubator 4200 James Ray Drive Grand Forks, ND 58203


Address Service Requested Phone: 701.777.3132 E-mail: The UND Center for Innovation helps entrepreneur innovators, students and researchers launch new technologies, products and ventures, develop business and marketing plans, access UND talent and secure venture financing. We are a division of the UND College of Business & Public Administration.

Support Students and Entrepreneurs The success of the UND Center for Innovation is made possible by previous investors in our quality programs resulting in national recognition for excellence and quality. Our programs favorably impact future and existing entrepreneurs who will innovate, grow our economy, solve problems and make this a better world. For more information on how to help “pay it forward” in our entrepreneur community please contact Bruce Gjovig or Tom Kenville.

Opportunities to Give UND Center for Innovation - Priority Needs •Entrepreneur Assistance/ Coaching •EB-5 Program/ Foreign Direct Investment •Angel Investor Education •International Entrepreneurship •SBIR outreach Entrepreneurship Department - Priority Needs •Student Entrepreneurs - Entrepreneur Internships •Sponsorship of Entrepreneur Speakers and Forums •Dakota Venture Group (Student Venture Fund) •Experiential Learning Experiences •Faculty Recruiting & Development •Unrestricted- Priority Use


March 2014

Bruce Gjovig Entrepreneur Coach & CEO UND Center for Inovation Foundation 701.777.3134 |

Tommy Kenville VP Development UND Center for Innovation Foundation 218.779.9950 |

*Donors may qualify for up to a 40% income tax credit with an endowment. Contact Kim Woods at or 701.777.4106 for more information. * Contributions to the UND Center for Innovation Foundation are tax deductible and included in your UND Foundation giving record.

UND Center for Innovation March 2014 Newsletter  

UND Center for Innovation March 2014 Newsletter

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