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Startup House extends application period

Miguel Danielson shows off the Fargo Startup House on the 700 block of Ninth Street North. The house is taking applications for six entrepreneurs to live there rent free for six to 12 months to work on their enterprise. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

FARGO – The Fargo Startup House is taking longer than planned to start up.

Originally slated to open Sept. 1, the incubator for innovative ideas is now scheduled to get underway Oct. 1, said Miguel Danielson, a Fargo attorney who founded Startup House and who is bearing much of the cost of setting up and operating the experiment in entrepreneurial development.

Danielson said the schedule needed rejiggering because it is taking longer than expected to find the six people who will live in the home rent free as they work on what Danielson hopes will be world-changing ideas.

“Our original timetable was more or less a shot in the dark as to when we could really marshal the resources and get everything in place,” he said.

The main challenge is getting information about the startup house in front of the right people, said Danielson, who added a good share of the recruitment effort so far has focused on personal connections within the startup community.

“We have a number of pretty promising candidates,” he said. Organizers intend to have a high level of diversity in the house.

“Equal numbers of genders and a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, that’s very important to us,” Danielson said.

To have a chance, Danielson said candidates should possess a genuine desire to tackle big problems.

“We’re not looking for people who are helping to solve small problems,” he said. “We need the people who say, ‘There’s not a problem too big to solve.’ ’’

As for maintaining domestic tranquility in the house, Danielson said residents will have a set of written guidelines to digest and follow.

“Reasonable, common-sense kind of stuff,” he said.

There won’t be a resident assistant, per se, but Danielson said if one of the Startup House residents shows leadership skills in that area, “I don’t see why we shouldn’t appoint them the person who decides things within the house.”

The Startup House is taking applications at its website: www.fargostartup

Dave Olson
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