Be Bold, Be Weird, Choose Yourself

The importance of building an inclusive, supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Almost 10 years ago, I was invited to Fargo, ND to talk about my new start up, 9 Clouds.

I hadn’t given a talk about the company before. I didn’t have a business card with the correct phone number. I wasn’t exactly sure yet what we did. But, my brother and I drove north and shared our months long journey with North Dakota State University students.

Life comes full circle as I recently took the position as Ozbun Executive Director of Entrepreneurship. It’s been a busy launch with 10+ initiatives and a new center. There is incredible potential to support and seed the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Fargo.

Ten years after that first speaking event, I was again invited to present. This time to the 2019 Innovation Challenge award show. I spoke to participants who shared their big ideas, community sponsors who supported their efforts with prize money, and faculty and staff members who helped improve the pitches.

I encourage everyone in the room to be weird, be bold, and to choose themselves. Only 4 out of a 1,000 people in North Dakota become an entrepreneur each month, that’s why I challenged the 996 people out of a 1,000 that support entrepreneurs to promote inclusion and make it easier for entrepreneurs to believe they can pick themselves.

I found out that they recorded the talk and I’m excited to share the message. Let me know what you think!

Posted in Business, Community, Life