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North Dakota Development Fund
Development Fund - October 2017

ND Development Fund Approves Projects

The North Dakota Development Fund (NDDF) recently awarded funding for 8 projects totaling $2,933,000.
 
Here are some insights into the projects:
 
PRx Performance, LLC, (Fargo) was awarded a $115,000 loan to payout previous investors and purchase of inventory. The company is a manufacturing and distribution company supplying American made products to the fitness industry.

Kelly Werner dba Giggle Garden Childcare, (Fargo) was awarded a $95,000 loan to complete site improvements to a new lease space for their daycare operations, purchase furniture and equipment and fund working capital needs.

Plasticom, Inc., (Pembina) was awarded a $100,000 loan to fund the company’s planned expansion. The company specializes in plastic molding for ag equipment, over the road vehicles, dash and accessory for ATV/Snowmobiles and also manufactures parts for the oil industry.

CuraNEXUS, LLC dba PHR Plus (Fargo) was awarded a $125,000 loan to fund the company’s planned expansion. The company is a digital health company that helps individuals manage their health and medical information, share it as necessary and improve care coordination and help them engage in their health.

MCP Networks, LLC, (Fargo) was awarded a $72,500 loan to help meet their staffing needs, lease an office space and to purchase inventory. MCP Networks offers a smart home solution called Aerēz that not only improves your wi-fi connection, but also improves your entire home's internet performance.

BioMagnetic Sciences, LLC, (Wahpeton) was awarded a $175,000 loan to contract manufacture with Comdel Manufacturing in Wahpeton, ND a NovoPulse joint specific device for joint pain. BioMagnetic Sciences is a medical device company focusing in pain management.

Autonomous Tractor Corp., (Fargo) was awarded a $250,500 loan to fund equipment purchases and working capital needs resulting from the company’s planned expansion. The company designs and manufactures an electric drive technology that is used in the agricultural industry.

North Dakota Soybean Processors, LLC, (Spiritwood) was awarded a $2,000,000 loan for construction and related costs of their new soybean crushing facility. The company will be constructing a 42.5 million bushel per year soy bean crushing plant.

 

Funding for Small Businesses in Technology Field Available

The Small Business Technology Program provides financing for a North Dakota start-up business in the technology field.

Eligible businesses can receive up to $50,000 for proof of concept, working capital, equipment and real estate with a ND angel fund match.

 

Development Fund Sees Potential in WalkSmart

Peter Chamberlain’s first exploration into the world of walking aids was while working with two friends on an engineering senior design project at the University of Portland. At the project’s end, the trio formed Auto-Pilot Medical Technologies, Inc. as a holding company for the new intellectual property they’d developed. When Chamberlain went off to do graduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he continued to focus on the challenges associated with mobility and walker use. His discussions and collaborations with both physical therapists and advisers helped him develop a concept for a simple – but powerful – walker attachment to help clinicians and families monitor how patients are using their walking aids. The system generates an email, text or call alert in a range of situations, such as an inactive user during typical walking hours. The attachment can also detect whether the patient is indeed using the walker, getting enough exercise, making it to meals and not walking too much at night.
 
Following graduation and a move to Grand Forks, Chamberlain began working on this new product full-time and named it WalkSmart. Now he is seeking ways to grow – and support – his business.  
 
“WalkSmart is looking to raise a seed round of funding, which will help with manufacturing ramp-up, sales and marketing efforts, as well as costs to keep the system up and running,” says Chamberlain. “The North Dakota Development Fund saw the potential of the company to grow in North Dakota, and offered to match private investment dollars raised for this seed round.” Chamberlain believes that the initial support from the Development Fund has helped establish credibility in the eyes of some potential investors and partners. “People are always reluctant to make the first move and so having a partner willing to do so can make all the difference,” he says. “Given [that there can be] the lack of opportunities to obtain private capital in this state, the Development Fund is a very important piece of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
 
“Fall-related injuries cost the healthcare system $34 billion a year, and many falls take place when people are not using their walkers,” says Chamberlain. WalkSmart is aiming to change this unfortunate trend. Chamberlain explains: “The main goal is to prevent falls among the elderly population … while other technologies focus on fall detection, WalkSmart is the first fall prevention tool on the market. “
 

 


 

Meet Board Member: Terri Zimmerman


Terri.jpgTerri Gunn Zimmerman is the CEO of Botlink and Packet Digital. She maintains more than 20 years of experience developing, incubating and commercializing software, networking, electronics, and semiconductor technologies. She is a leader in UAV technologies including innovations providing extended endurance UAVs, on board mobile devices, software and hardware solutions and integrations.

Zimmerman has served as COO and CFO of several companies, including Dakota Technologies, Wamnet, and Great Plains Software.
 
“My favorite part about being on the board is meeting local businesses and learning about the new companies and technologies created in our state.

One of the most rewarding aspects of serving on the NDDF board is the impact NDDF has made helping companies find capital they need to grow their business and create new products, which has created many new jobs in the state of North Dakota.”
 


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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