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North Dakota Development Fund
Development Fund - July 2017

ND Development Fund Approves Projects

The North Dakota Development Fund (NDDF) recently awarded funding for 10 projects totaling $2,265,680.
Here are some insights into the projects:
CoSchedule, LLC, (Bismarck) was awarded a $600,000 loan to finance working capital needs, equipment purchases and improvements needed to be made by the company based upon its planned expansion. CoSchedule develops software used in social media markets.

Valley City-Barnes County Development Corporation, (Valley City) was awarded a $500,000 loan to assist with workforce training for Eagle Creek Software Services.

Leonardite Products LLC, (Williston) was awarded a $140,679.50 to allow the company to obtain a letter of credit.

TSR Parts, Inc., (Colgate) was awarded a $150,000 loan to finance working capital needs for their ag-related manufacturing business.

Just Kidding Childcare Center LLC, (Valley City) was awarded $100,000 loan payable to contractors who remodeled the childcare center due to cost overruns and to complete additional work needed to benefit the center. The company provides childcare services to the surrounding area.

Advanced Business Solutions LLC dba Profit Pros, (Fargo) was awarded a $100,000 loan to finance working capital needs for an expansion project. The company provides web based subscription service for advisors to use and implement to address the issues of profitability and cash flow.

Bright Futures Learning LLC, (Fargo) was awarded a $100,000 loan to be used to support planned growth. Bright Futures Learning is a new daycare center.

Tiny Tykes, Inc., (Wahpeton) was awarded a $100,000 loan to finance a consolidated daycare center.

Red River BioRefinery, (Grand Forks) was awarded a $175,000 loan to finance working capital needs to produce ethanol from local agricultural waste processing.

Idea Aerosmith, Inc., (Grand Forks) was awarded a $300,000 loan to finance working capital. The company manufacturers aircraft test machine and inertial test systems.


Funding for Rural Incentive Growth Available

The North Dakota Rural Incentive Growth Program provides financing for a North Dakota business who provides essential services to the rural community (population of less than 2,500). The loan is made to the city which in turn loans to the business.

Eligible businesses can receive up to $75,000. The fund also offers a lower than market interest rate.


Botlink Expands Markets with Development Fund

Fargo-based startup Botlink is a software and power electronics designer that builds applications to connect drones to businesses and give operators realtime access to the data they collect. The company’s founders - a group of Fargo entrepreneurs - identified a gap between existing unmanned aerial vehicle software and flight safety. They also discovered problems with capturing the data and passing it to applications. In response, they launched Botlink so that people in a range of industries could more easily and safely integrate drones into their workflows and use the valuable aerial imagery data more efficiently.
Since its start, the company has developed a cellular-connected device called the Botlink XRD which uses cloud-based processing to enable Botlink to deliver data from drones to industry-leading applications such as Procore construction management software or agX® agriculture platform. In many cases this information is distributed before the drone has even landed.

“Farmers and agronomists use Botlink to take pictures of their fields and monitor crop health for more precise application of fertilizers and pesticides, resulting in less waste, lower input costs, and reduced environmental impact,” says Botlink’s CEO Terri Zimmerman. “Construction project managers use Botlink to survey and monitor progress at their sites for improved reporting and project planning … Botlink expects to provide benefits to other industries as well, including insurance, real estate, mining and natural resources, utilities, pipelines, infrastructure monitoring and more.”

North Dakota is widely considered a hub for the unmanned aerial vehicle industry and the state sees itself as a progressive leader in this rapidly growing market. Botlink used the North Dakota Development Fund for capital to allow them to bolster their business model. “The North Dakota Development Fund has provided funding to enable us to expand our product into other vertical markets beyond agriculture and to add new jobs,” says Zimmerman. “Botlink has added 18 new jobs to North Dakota … the funding has supported our global product launch.”

“In addition to software integrations with Procore and agX®, Botlink has established strategic relationships with OEM AgEagle and precision agriculture distributor Raven to push the Botlink product into the agriculture market in the U.S. and internationally,” Zimmerman further explains. “NASA selected Botlink as a test partner for its UAS Traffic Management (UTM) system, and was the initial customer for the BotlinkXRD. Botlink is also in negotiation with U.S Department of Defense for drone-enabled site surveys in Africa.”



Meet Board Secretary/Treasurer: Darcy Volk

Volk_Darcy.jpgDarcy Volk serves as Vice President of Processes and Systems at KLJ. Volk is responsible for providing strategic direction for the business processes and information technology systems that support the company goals.

Volk is a life-long member of the Bismarck-Mandan community. Her love for the community in which she lives and works is evident by her continuous involvement in non-profit and business focused organizations.
“My favorite part about being on the board is witnessing the variety and array of inspiring projects and meeting innovative leaders who choose North Dakota to launch or grow their business.
Being a small part of the novel way North Dakota supports business development is one of the most rewarding aspects of serving on the NDDF board.”


The North Dakota Development Fund was created in 1991 as an economic development tool. It provides flexible gap financing through debt and equity investments for new or expanding North Dakota primary sector businesses. Primary sector businesses create new wealth and are typically manufacturers, food processors and exported service companies.

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