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New Innovate ND Program Launched
Post Date: Jan 15 2014

By ND Commerce
The North Dakota Department of Commerce today announced the launch of the new Innovate ND program for entrepreneurs. The expanded program focuses on fostering innovation and accelerating venture formation/growth in North Dakota.
“It is an exciting time to be an entrepreneur in North Dakota,” Entrepreneurship Program Manager at the North Dakota Department of Commerce Jared Stober said. “This new program is designed to capitalize on previous successes and brand development efforts, and move to the next level in helping entrepreneurs grow their business. The new features announced today are designed to help people with innovative ideas build a business no matter what stage they are at.”
Since 2006, Innovate ND has served over 450 entrepreneurs, startups, and early-stage ventures by providing a comprehensive educational program and coaching through entrepreneurial centers to help entrepreneurs build new ventures.
New Innovate ND Features include:
  • Innovate ND Vouchers – When signing up with Innovate ND each participant initially receives up to $2,500 that can be used to advance their business.  The $2,500 voucher may be used for coaching and consulting services at an entrepreneurial center, creating a business plan or developing a prototype.  Additional vouchers are available for businesses who meet established criteria. For more information please visit one of the five entrepreneurial centers in ND.
  • Educational Services - Innovate ND will offer multiple educational services to build a strong foundation for entrepreneurs to start their venture.  Entrepreneur Boot Camps will be held in the spring and fall of each year and an online class is available upon sign up for Innovate ND.  The educational services address key topics and Innovate ND participants can attend at any stage in their business development. The educational content is valued at over $2,200.
  • Online Resources - The new Innovate ND website, which is still in development, will serve as a resource to entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their business. Visitors will have access to new content and an online forum to help build their entrepreneurial resources and contacts.
  • Business Competitions – Innovate ND will hold an annual competition in the spring of each year.  There will be two categories for participants to compete; an Idea competition and a Venture Competition. The Idea Competition will provide an opportunity for startups to compete based on their business idea. This will also serve as a starting point for Innovate ND participants to gain feedback for their idea and serve as a launch pad to take their idea to the next level. Innovate ND will also hold a Venture Competition targeted toward businesses that are ready for venture capital or at an advanced stage.  Additional details about the competition will be available at a later date.
“A key to future success in North Dakota is fueling innovation and nurturing entrepreneurs who help build the businesses of tomorrow,” Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson said. “The capacity to innovate and grow entrepreneurs increasingly separates regions that are growing from those that are not.”
The new Innovate ND program costs $250 and offers the opportunity to access up to $2,500 worth of resources to help in the development of business ideas through access to multiple resources. For more information visit: www.InnovateND.com or visit one of the following entrepreneurial centers.
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