North Dakota Women's Startup Weekend 2016

    Friday, April 22 - 24, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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North Dakota Women's Startup Weekend 2016

Friday, April 22 - 24, 2016

Friday, April 22 - 24, 2016
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Dakota Medical Foundation
4141 28th Avenue South
Fargo, North Dakota 58104

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No Talk, All Action. Launch a Startup in 54 Hours.

Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities.  Come share ideas, form teams, and launch startups.


Friday April 22nd

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

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 23rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

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 24th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Mari Baker
Executive, Director, Advisor

Ms. Baker is an experienced Silicon Valley senior executive, with over 20 years in executive management, president and CEO roles at various companies including Intuit, BabyCenter, Johnson & Johnson, Navigenics and PlayFirst.  She has been involved in the startup community through roles as executive-in-residence at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, and as an advisor to 500 Startups, Women’s Startup Labs, Netcentives, HealthTap, and others.  She currently serves as a Director at John Wiley & Sons (NYSE: JWA and JWB), Advisor to the Clayman Institute at Stanford and has co-founded the new Center for the Advancement of Women’s Leadership at Stanford University, where she is also an alum and emeritus Trustee.

Edie Ramstad
Owner - Weave Got Maille

Edie Ramstad has worked all over the world as an Independent Goldsmith. However, Entrepreneurship has always been in her blood. She has mentored, help start or started over 65 different business in everything from Jewelry Stores to Garbage Companies to Coffee House to a Dude Ranch. Watching and assisting people make their dreams come true is her passion.  When she retired in 2011, she had a thought that she should have a hobby business to fill a little time. That thought became Weave Got Maille, the third largest chain maille supply company in the world with over 15 employees currently. Spurred by another thought, Edie is currently opening a second business, an aluminum anodizing and processing company.

Event Judges

Dawn Keeley
Executive Director

Dawn has more than 25 years of community and economic development experience. She served as the Red River Regional Council’s Business Development Director for 15 years and returned as Executive Director in 2013.  The RRRC is four county economic and community development organization headquartered in Grafton.  As Business Development Director, Dawn assisted in 52 new business starts with 1,046 jobs created and retained.  She specialized and continues to specialize in business plan and financial projection development as well as financial strategy and assisting in securing funds from private and public sources for new or expanding businesses. As Between 2010 and 2013, Dawn served as a Funding Strategist for Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services. There, she worked to link projects and resources for public water and wastewater projects in a multi-state region assembling support for hundreds of millions in dollars with project teams and clients.  Dawn holds a bachelors of arts degree in Business Administration/Economics and History/Political Science from the University of Jamestown.  Dawn is also a certified economic development finance professional.

Mickey Quinn

Mickey Quinn is the CEO/President of Vanity. Vanity is a women’s specialty apparel & accessories retailer which has been in business since the 1950’s and has had its headquarters right here in Fargo, ND since 1969. After graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS in Business Administration, Mickey started her career in retail and women’s fashions in Rochester, NY with JCPenney. Mickey has held a variety of positions in the retail industry including the areas of store department merchandising, buying, marketing, communications, operations and executive management. Since her start with JCPenney, Mickey has been with Barnes & Noble, Coldwater Creek and most recently - Vanity. Mickey and her husband Jim have been married 26 years. They have lived in New York, Texas, Idaho, Kentucky, Ohio and North Dakota. They have two children, Gavin and Abigail, who are both attending the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID.

Tammy Miller

Tammy joined Border States as the Accounting Manager in 1991. Her positions at the corporate office included Corporate Controller, Vice President Finance, Senior Vice President and Executive Vice President. She assumed general management responsibilities for the Southwest Region in 2003 and President in 2005. Tammy was named CEO in 2006 and has led the company on to unprecedented and continued growth. She has been an officer and member of the Board of Directors since 1996, on the Executive Council since 1997and was named Board Chair in 2006. In 2007–2008, Tammy was the first woman in the 100-year history of the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) to serve as the Board Chair.

Carol Schlossman
Principal - Insight To Action, LLC.

Carol J. Schlossman is passionate about working with people to advance their businesses to the next level of success. There is a saying, “One can’t paint with one’s nose on the canvas.” It is hard for leaders and managers to step away and see the big picture when one is neck deep in tactics; working close up and hands on in keeping the business running. 

She brings a diverse background and broad experience including outcome based planning, organizational strategy, marketing and research, funding and development, team building, retail development, et al. She enjoys working with small to medium sized businesses and non-profits, from new businesses to old-timers who want a jump-start. She has an MBA and is the principal at Insight To Action, LLC. 

Carol and her team work hard with business leaders to identify what is working and what isn’t and the desired short-term and long-term outcomes. The focus is on building logical steps and pathways that make result-oriented change happen.

For fun and joy she loves the entire family working together on a great meal; sailing where only sailing can take you; the endorphins from working out; abstract painting; trying to read a book a week; and quiet, and not so quiet, time with her husband and kids. 

Brenda Jacobson
Vice President - VISIONBank

Brenda is a founding team member of VISIONBank, a local, startup bank established in 2003.  She has 20 years of experience in several areas of banking specializing in lending, personal banking, business banking, and marketing. She earned her bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State (Go Bison!) and is a native of Finley, ND.  Brenda lives in Fargo with her 15 year old son, Kaden and a spoiled black lab.   

Coaches and Mentors

Tonya Stende
Chief Engagement Officer

Tonya Stende, CPA is Chief Engagement Officer of the Dale Carnegie Business Group of North Dakota.  The Dale Carnegie Business Group of ND team are performance consultants who align business strategies and people practices to drive results.  Tonya is passionate about helping her clients create a culture of high engagement which leads to a more satisfied and productive workforce as well as increased bottom line results. Tonya was named one of the top 25 women in Business by Prairie Business Magazine. Tonya lives in Fargo with husband, Dave, her two step kids, Thomas and Hannah and two wiener dogs, Lillie and Bernie.  In her spare time she enjoys spending time at the lakes, reading, running and visiting Las Vegas (especially when she wins!)

Jodee Bock
Principal/Founder - Bock’s Office Transformational Consulting

Jodee Bock is principal and founder of Bock’s Office Transformational Consulting where she provides coaching, speaking, facilitation, development and delivery of customized workshops and seminars that support individuals and teams in succeeding at whatever they are committed to accomplishing.

Jodi Heilman
SVP Marketing at Bell State Bank & Trust

Jodi Heilman is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Bell State Bank & Trust in Fargo.  Heilman directs marketing strategy and oversees the operations of the marketing department. Originally from Fergus Falls, Minn., Heilman earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Prior to Bell State Bank & Trust, Heilman worked as executive vice president of creative at Sundog, a Fargo-based marketing and technology company.Heilman lives in Fargo with her husband, Jim.

Andrea Hochhalter
President - Hochhalter Building Solutions

Andrea Hochhalter, is the owner of HBS, Inc. where she guides groups and organizations by providing strategic planning, professional facilitation, and organizational development services that collectively engage individuals to achieved shared outcomes. As a professional facilitation trainer and consultant, Andrea uses a range of approaches and models to design conversations, meetings, and workshops that enable groups to be more responsive to change and more creative in implementations. Andreas’s fields of leadership and consulting expertise include; change management, team development, cross-group collaboration, technology implementation, nonprofit administration and fundraising.   Prior to launching HBS, Inc. Andrea worked at Microsoft where she was responsible for developing teams and leading projects nationally and internationally. Andrea earned her Bachelors in Psychology from North Dakota State University and her MBA in Information Systems from Westminster College of Salt Lake City.   Andrea serves on the board for Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education and Fargo Rotary. She is a North Dakota native who now resides in Lake Park, MN to enjoy lake living every day possible. Making time for family, friends, fitness, volunteering and FUN keeps Andrea at her happiest.

Pam McGee
CoChair & Associate Prof--Depart of Project Management and Operations Management

At MSUM, she is responsible for 150 students, 3 faculty, 2 degrees, 4 certifications, marketing and recruiting, and accreditation. AT Pam McGee Consulting, she helps business and nonprofits with strategic planning, leadership development, workforce engagement, change management, project and process development, emotional intelligence, and creating high performance organizational cultures.   You will find her spending her day with students, teaching online and telepresence classes, working on projects for the President, and helping businesses through executive coaching, keynotes, facilitating meetings and off-sites, conducting group coaching, and even sitting on the management teams of some of these companies.

Chris Thompson
Senior Director and Global Cluster Lead, Data Platforms and Developer Support at Microsoft

Chris Thompson is a Senior Director and Global Cluster Lead for the Global Commercial Developer and BI/Data Platforms business at Microsoft. Chris started at Great Plains/Microsoft in 1998 in a technical support role for Dynamics which led to various leadership roles and adventures.   In her current role, Chris manages a 34M dollar yearly budget and is accountable for overall delivery strategy for support worldwide.  Chris is accountable for the business results and success of 250 deeply technical team members within NA based out of Texas, Washington, North Dakota and North Carolina as well as the results of an additional team members located in India, Japan, China, Europe and Latin America.   Chris resides in West Fargo with her husband, 10 year old daughter, horses, and other pets and is a graduate of MSUM.  She serves as Vice Chair for the Operations Management Advisory Board at MSUM and is a board member for the Chamber of Commerce Women's Connect program.     

Brandon Desjarlais
Development and Web/App Design

Brandon Desjarlais is a Support Escalation Engineer who provides assistance to developers of the Microsoft Outlook and Exchange API’s.  I started at Microsoft in August 2006 and I’ve been supporting the Office products and developers who use Office as solution platform ever since.  From a programming perspective, my area of expertise would be more in the managed code side of things where I spend the majority of my time writing and debugging C# applications.  However, I do also work with applications written in C and C++ along with the many different technologies associated with Web Sites/Web Applications, so I’m familiar with Html, Css and JavaScript.

Cathy Lindquist
Marketing Manager

Cathy has over 30 years of experience working in the public sector, where she led business development, project management, operations, marketing and strategy development. In her current role at Moore Engineering, she is leading client development. As a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) business consultant, she has worked with entrepreneurs to start businesses and small business owners to develop their companies.  Her attention to their goals and passion has allowed them to succeed.

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.

Kristi Huber
Vice President Sanford Health Foundation

A native of Elbow Lake, Minnesota, Kristi is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead.  Her undergraduate degrees were Business and English Literature with a minor concentration in Communications.  Kristi earned her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Kristi is passionate about volunteerism and networking.  She serves on the Concordia College National Alumni Board, the TNT Kids Fitness Board, and is a past president of her local Rotary club.  She is an avid proponent of mentorship and continues to work with Concordia College students to connect them with opportunities and leaders.  Kristi and her husband Gregg live in West Fargo, North Dakota with their dog Tazer.  They enjoy watching hockey and have a goal of attending a game at all 30 National Hockey League arenas in North America.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The North Dakota Women's Startup Weekend 2016 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

  • Susan
  • Susan
  • Deb
  • Kari
  • Deidre
  • Katie
  • Kim
  • Brittany
  • Carrie
  • Tonya
  • Marisa
  • Christi


Michael Norton
Entrepreneur In Residence

Michael has led over 60 Techstars Startup Weekend events throughout the US, Canada, and Australia. He teaches workshops, designs programs, and speaks on a variety of topics related to innovation and entrepreneurship.

Michael has worked professionally in marketing technology startups, with big data, non-profit fundraising, customer support systems design, technical project management, educational program development, event production and decor, iOS app design, video games, user testing, prototyping, and in the coffee industry.

His own past and present business ventures include several SaaS web app platforms, photography, woodworking, printing, audio engineering, video production, musical composition/recording/performance, publishing, art curation, operating an Amazon Pro Merchant storefront, and a funnel cake stand.

Michael guides innovative communities to build and nurture regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. He guides corporations through internal innovation and intrapreneurship. 

He frequently works as a freelance business development consultant, crowdfunding guru, technical project manager, and as a marketer — focused on branding, messaging, storytelling, social media, and email marketing.

Michael loves hiking in Yosemite, bicycling around San Diego, eating authentic Baja California Mexican food, and drinking amazing coffee in Seattle.

Event Blog

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