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Nourishing ideas: Startup house aims to spark world-changing concepts

The Fargo Startup House is located at 721 9th St. N.. Selected participants from across the globe, or across the street, will be given all that the Fargo Startup House offers. Dave Wallis / The Forum

Fargo - A house in the Cathedral District of north Fargo has been remodeled and rewired to serve as an incubator of sorts for technological entrepreneurs.

But unlike similar setups around the country, Fargo Startup House will ask nothing of its users other than a commitment to develop innovative ideas that will make the world better, said Miguel Danielson, a Fargo attorney who specializes in intellectual property. He founded the startup house and is covering the costs of the home himself.

The house, which is at 721 9th St. N. and was built around 1915, has been thoroughly remodeled.

Danielson said six applicants will be selected to live in the house, with the application process beginning this week and ending July 31.

Participants will be selected by early August and will move into the house Sept. 1.

Danielson said residents will have access to nationally recognized mentors, professional services, investors and business leaders.

Room and board for the residents will be free, other than a commitment to live and work on their businesses full time.

Danielson said the initial stay will be six months, though a six-month extension will be possible if satisfactory progress is demonstrated.

While the cost of the startup house is largely on Danielson’s shoulders, he said sponsorships are being developed and it is hoped the house will be self-sustaining after the first year.

“This is going to be a global call for entrepreneurs,” Danielson said during a news conference Wednesday where he and other organizers introduced the startup house to the community.

Earlier in the day, Danielson talked about the startup house during 1 Million Cups, a weekly community get-together sponsored by Emerging Prairie, an organization Danielson co-founded that promotes entrepreneurial spirit in the Fargo area.

Danielson told the 1 Million Cups audience that he hopes to populate the startup house with “rock stars” willing to work on ideas that will have a positive impact on the world.

The project involves collaborations with a number of individuals and groups, including 702 Communications, which fitted the house with the latest in communication technology.

The house will have gigabit, fiber-optic Internet service, making it one of the few examples of private, non-corporate residential fiber-optic Internet service in North America.

The project also involves international creative firm Misfit Inc., which will get one of the six spots at Fargo Startup House.

Misfit will provide support services to those living in the house and assist in the application process, organizers said.

Greg Tehven, CEO of Emerging Prairie, said the energy and activity in Fargo’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is growing and that Emerging Prairie is excited to be a part of the Fargo Startup House “as it commits to being a point of entry and launching pad for innovators in the earliest of stages.”

Applications are being received at the house’s website at www.fargostartuphouse.com.

Dave Olson
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