Techstars Startup Weekend Fargo: Community

    Friday, April 13 - 15, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Fargo: Community

Friday, April 13 - 15, 2018

Friday, April 13 - 15, 2018
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The Prairie Den
122 1/2 Broadway N
Fargo, ND 58102

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Work through an idea over 54 hours

What is Techstars Startup Weekend?

Techstars Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Share ideas, form teams, and maybe even launch startups. Startup Weekend Fargo 2018 will continue to be the region's most impactful entrepreneurial event.

This year is our 6th year doing Startup Weekend Fargo.  Some changes to this year include:
  • Cozier - we'll be cozier this year at The Prairie Den coworking space vs the last several years at the super-spacious universities.  
  • Size - our participant size has varied over the years and this year we are capping it at 50.  This is smaller than some prior years but very similar to what we had last year (if you don't count the no-shows - if you are going to register, please show up or let us know!).
  • Theme - we've added a theme this year: Community.  Pitches will ideally be focused on building or improving community.  The definition of community can be many things - it can be a population like Fargo-Moorhead, or certain demographic, or a niche interest group, or whatever else your team deems "community".  We'll do our best to convey this in our messaging but if you have questions, please email
  • Sunday activities - the Sunday presentations will occur at the Sanctuary Events Center, and we will also have the post-party right there.  One thing that has not changed is that Eide Bailly has stepped up once again to sponsor the post-party to help us all celebrate a fun & busy weekend.

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target "customer". You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea (email us at if you have questions).

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:
  • A bunch of food & drink over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • Connections with mentors & coaches
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • A sweet t-shirt that will be the envy of your neighborhood
  • Beautifully locally-crafted trophies for the top 3 teams.  Winning team also receives free team logo shirts courtesy of Heat Transfer Warehouse.
  • A fun after-party courtesy of our favorite party hosts, Eide Bailly LLP
Friday kick-off: 
Time: 6:30pm
Where: The Prairie Den
122 1/2 Broadway North (above the King House Buffet) - Fargo, ND 

Sunday’s Closing Night Presentations:

Time: 4:00pm
Where: Sanctuary Events Center
670 4th Ave N – Fargo, ND

Sunday Post-Party For Participants and Sponsors presented by our friends at Eide Bailly

Time: 7:00pm
Where: Sanctuary Events Center
670 4th Ave N – Fargo, ND

We are seeking the Red River Valley's best developers, designers, marketers, and other non-coders. At  Techstars Startup Weekend Fargo you will go through the exercise of starting a company during a weekend together with a bunch of gifted people.

The Buy Tickets link will send you to Evenbrite to register.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday April 13th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 pm
Friday events are for participants only
However, the Sunday events are open to the public.

7:00 pm
Participants Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants. We will be serving Drunken Noodle!

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers & organizing team.

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday April 14th

8:30 am
Pregame with Dee
Facilitator Dee will offer an optional session for a process exercise & tips.

9:00 am
Arrive, simple bagel & fruit breakfast Bernbaum's & Twenty Below coffee

11:30 am
Courtesy of Appareo Systems - ribs & chicken from Daran's Southern Soul Food

12:30 pm
Meet coaches & ask for help
Coaches will introduce themselves and start helping teams as needed.

4:00 pm
Organizers continue to check-in with you, check your status - but don't hesitate to ask for help

6:30 pm
Sandwiches & salads from Nichole's Fine Pastry.

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday April 15th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast from Love In The Oven Bakery & coffee from Thunder Coffee

12:30 pm
Rhombus Guys pizza delivered!

2:30 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm
Final Presentations
Sanctuary Events Center -670 4th Ave N, Fargo

6:30 pm
Judging & Awards
This time is an estimated. Each year varies depending on the number of teams, judges deliberation, etc.

7:00 pm
Post Party compliments of Eide Bailly
Participants, partners and sponsors celebrate at this fun event to cap off the weekend. (7pm start time is an estimate - depends on how long presentations & judging take)

10:00 pm
Party ends!
Go home and get some rest!


Patrick Kirby

Patrick Kirby is the Founder of Do Good Better Consulting and a believer that “we’ve always done it this way” is the most dangerous phrase in the English language. 

Patrick has spent over a decade working in nearly every capacity in the nonprofit industry, for organizations of all shapes and sizes, and strives to ‘Do Good Better’ every day. From organizing $10,000 cure walks to $1 million galas, Patrick’s passion lies in creating creative solutions to make fundraising less boring. 

Jon Walters
Founder, Nature Of The North

Lover of coffee and all things involving community development and advocacy. He is always looking for ways to help in community events or startup ideation.  His main passion in life is to help others find their passions and accomplish their goals to make the world a better place.

Event Judges

Clint Howitz
Founder & CEO

Clint is the Founder and CEO of dogIDs, a local manufacturer and distributor of high quality pet accessories.  Clint has a soft spot for helping dogs as well as providing help to fellow entrepreneurs.

Kristi Huber
President, United Way of Cass Clay

Kristi serves as the President of the United Way of Cass Clay, and is passionate about doing good & impacting the lives of our residents.

Jenni Huotari
Partner - Eide Bailly

Jenni is a numbers nerd specializing in helping small businesses and entrepreneurial startups grow and succeed. In her current role, she serves as the Director of Eide Bailly’s Business Outsourcing & Strategy. An auditor by trade, Jenni has worked with hundreds of companies to help them achieve financial strength and make the next step for their organization. She strongly believes that every company and organization should have high-quality, accurate financial information readily available to them, as well as the resources and tools to understand why this information is necessary and relevant for making sound business decisions. Jenni also serves as the Firmwide lead for Eide Bailly’s First Focus program, an initiative started to foster a culture where women are as likely to succeed as men. Jenni is an active volunteer, serving on the board for the Jeremiah Program, and a proud alumnus of Minnesota State University Moorhead. She and her husband and three children live in Moorhead. To learn more about the Possibilities Center, visit, visit the blog at or follow Jenni on Twitter at @huotarijenni. 

Sandi Piatz
Site Leader - Director Fargo Campus

Experienced business leader who believes in deploying quality technology solutions that align with an organization's business goals, enabling their long term success. Over 19 years of experience in business and leadership in the high tech industry. Passionate about servant leadership, honesty, integrity, personal accountability, and collaborating with others to achieve mutual success. Sandi has been the Microsoft Fargo Site Leader since September 2016.

Greg Tehven
Executive Director - Emerging Prairie

Specialties: Curating Conversations. Public Speaking. Event Design. Thought Leadership. Teaching. Community Engagement.

Coaches and Mentors

Blaine Booher
COO - Clifton Labs

Blaine has been a Startup Weekend participant (winner too), organizer and coach.  He is a great asset to our community and has an excellent mind that is analytical and creative.

Joe Burgum
Community Builder & Co-Founder

Joe Burgum is an entrepreneur and community builder who is committed to making Fargo one of the greatest cities on earth. As the founder of Folkways, a community-building collective dedicated to nurturing the region's culture creators, he's created the Red River Market; lobbied to bring the ride-sharing service Uber to North Dakota; and facilitates a nine-week course to help entrepreneurs launch local businesses.

Josh Christy
CEO at Codelation

Josh has helped many companies and entrepreneurs with his technical knowledge as well as business expertise.  His company Codelation works with companies to harness the opportunities available in the digital age and use them to promote long-term growth and success.

Josh has been a past Startup Weekend participant, organizing volunteer and coach.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Fargo: Community team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.




Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Fargo is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • John
  • Amanda
  • Erica
  • McKaila
  • Jake
  • Morgan


Dee Hamill
TOW DATTs (The One Who Does ALLL The Things)

Dee is a momma bear to the tech/startup community in Charleston, SC. She runs a co-working space, handles operations/logistics for an accelerator in CHS, and organizes Startup Weekends, Startup Grind, 1 Million Cups, and Startup Digest for Charleston.

Jesus. Startups. Wine. Community. Inclusiveness. Techstars. Huge advocate of chasing those incredibly big dreams. Adrenaline Chaser. Lover of Life.


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