North Dakota Invests In Three Technology Startups

North Dakota Development Fund supports three tech startups via its Angel Match Program, which matches investor commitments up to $250,000.

This week, the North Dakota Development Fund (NDDF) announced new investments in three technology startup companies through its Angel Match Program (AMP). The AMP supports early-stage primary sector businesses by matching investor commitments up to $250,000.

North Dakota Technology
North Dakota’s capital building in Bismarck, ND. (Photo: Adobe Stock / otmman)

The three technology companies receiving the investments are:

  • Medobby Corporation, dba Learnery, is a Bismarck-based digital software company offering effective training and education programs for organizations seeking to improve employee performance and engagement.
  • Preferred Partner Community LLC is a West Fargo-based technology company. Its online digital platform Homekeepr, aims to simplify the process of moving into a new space.
  • WalkWise, Inc. is a Fargo-based technology company whose goal is to transform the lives of mobility-aid device users by utilizing real-time data and an easy-to-use analytics system.

“We are happy to announce the funding of these investments through our Angel Match Program (AMP),” said Shayden Akason, North Dakota Department of Commerce Head of Investments and Innovation. “It’s great to see the program stimulate funding from the investment community and catalyze industry growth. Each business received funding to assist with working capital expenses to support their development at the early stages of their businesses. “

The NDDF launched the AMP to support early-stage primary sector North Dakota businesses by matching investor commitments up to $250,000 per business. Businesses may apply for funds if the total financing round is $2 million or less. Investors may be individuals, LLCs, businesses, trusts, or an investment fund. Investors must be in, and remain in, compliance with state and federal securities laws, and invest only in qualified businesses that are issuing securities in compliance with state and federal securities laws.

To be eligible, a business must:

  • Be registered with the North Dakota Secretary of State.
  • Be certified as a primary sector business through the North Dakota Department of Commerce.
  • Be headquartered in North Dakota and remain headquartered in North Dakota for as long as the State Small Business Credit Initiative capital is at risk.
  • Have fewer than 250 employees at the time of investment.
  • Not have a principal of the business that has been convicted of a sex offense against a minor (as such terms are defined in section 111 of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (42 U.S.C. § 16911).

North Dakota Leads Nation In Growth Of Earnings, Real GDP

Recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows North Dakota leading the nation in the growth of earnings and gross domestic product (GDP), underscoring the state’s strong economy and policies working to drive investment, innovation and business expansion, according to Governor Doug Burgum.

North Dakota state flagNorth Dakota experienced the highest growth in real GDP among all 50 states in the first quarter of 2023, surging by 12.4% in the last year – more than six times higher than the nationwide increase of 2%, according to BEA estimates.

North Dakota also led the nation in earnings, which increased at an annualized rate of 12.4% in the first quarter of 2023 – nearly triple the national growth rate of 4.6%.

Personal income increased at an annualized rate of 11%, ranking North Dakota third behind Maine at 11.4% and Nebraska at 11.1%, according to the BEA report.

“North Dakota is wide open for business, and this data confirms that business is good,” said Burgum. “With our low taxes and laser focus on innovation over regulation, we can continue to strengthen and diversify our economy, grow our GDP and generate prosperity for all citizens.”

The BEA noted that agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting increased in 33 states and was the leading contributor to real GDP growth in 13 states, including the five states with the largest increases: North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas and Montana.

Increases in farm earnings also was the leading contributor to growth in personal income in four of the five fastest-growing states: Nebraska, North Dakota, Iowa and South Dakota. North Dakota’s increases in personal income and real GDP attributed to oil and gas extraction and mining also were the highest among all states.

“North Dakota has experienced explosive growth in new project investment, which has led to tremendous wage and new employee growth,” state Commerce Commissioner Josh Teigen said. “The state has also seen an influx of workers attracted by the higher-paying jobs, providing a case study for how economic development can drive workforce development.”

Funds for the AMP were provided through the U.S. Department of Treasury State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). An approximate total of $58.6 million of SSBCI funds were allocated to the State of North Dakota for two equity and venture programs, the AMP and the Direct Investment Program. Both programs are direct investment programs that provide equity support directly to small businesses and startups by co-investing alongside private investors.

The North Dakota Development Fund was created in 1991 as an economic development tool. It provides flexible funding through debt and equity investments for new or expanding North Dakota primary sector businesses. The fund also manages the Child Care Loan Program created by the North Dakota Legislature in 2009.

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