Business Buzz: TEDxFargo to return, Demo Day planned April 28, and MN Cup now accepting applications

Check out what the business team is following this week.

Marshall Johnson, executive director of Audubon Dakota and Vice-President of the National Audubon Society, speaks during TEDxFargo at the Fargo Civic Center on Thursday, July 25, 2019. David Samson / The Forum
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FARGO — Mark you calendars. TEDxFargo is expected to return this summer after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Emerging Prairie announced in its newsletter this week that TEDxFargo will be held July 21st and that tickets will go on sale later this month.

The idea-sharing event will feature an assortment of speakers and performers.

"Our hope is that TEDxFargo will be one of the most community-driven TEDx events in the world. We focus on accelerating our community and social impact through the power of big ideas, transformative life events, and empowered communities," read a description of the event on its website .

Central Cass (N.D.) High School student Garrett Gehrke drops a basketball into a bucket 13 seconds after lifting it from a construction cone during Demo Day, Thursday, April 29, 2021, at General Equipment & Supplies, Inc. in Horace in 2021. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor


Diggin' Deep on Demo Day

For the second year in a row, the North Dakota Construction Leadership Council is inviting the public to try their hands at test-driving a dozer or operating a 250-ton, $1 million crane as part of its Demo Day April 28.

The event was created last year as a way to educate the public on the construction industry and to recruit more workers in a field with considerable labor shortages.

Demo Day again will take place at General Equipment and Supply Inc.'s Demo Yard, 11506 38th St. S., Horace.

In addition to the crane and dozers, attendees will be able to test-drive joystick-operated heavy equipment and a 52,000-pound excavator with state-of-the-art GPS technology.

A student session will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. A college/adult session will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. NDCLC also will offer a free lunch at noon for attendees and the public.

The event is free but pre-registration and the signing of a liability waiver are required. Event organizers encourage the public to register early as space is limited.

Follow these links to get a preview of the type of equipment available:

Swanston Equipment:



General Equipment:

High school students can RSVP at . Adults can RSVP at .

Calling all Minnesota entrepreneurs: MN Cup applications open now

Online applications are now available for the MN Cup, a start-up competition offering more than $400,000 in prize money to participants run by the University of Minnesota.

The university’s Carlson School of Management oversees the competition, which “brings together corporations, venture capitalists, foundations, government and skilled volunteers to support Minnesota’s entrepreneurs,” the MN Cup’s website said.

The competition takes place across four phases.

The first round is the application round, where entrepreneurs lay out their business plan in one of nine divisions, after which volunteer judges provide feedback to entrepreneurs.

In the semifinal round, the top 10 of each division are chosen to create a pitch and one-minute video about their company while further refining their business plan. Entrepreneurs at this phase receive mentorship, more feedback and education as well as opportunities to showcase their pitch.


In the finalist round, the top three from each division give a 12-minute presentation to judges, followed by an 18-minute question and answer session. Entrepreneurs can take home up to $25,000 in prize money during the finalist round to further grow their business.

Lastly, the top entrepreneur in each division advances to the grand prize round, where they’ll deliver a final pitch to the grand prize committee. Division winners and runners-up will also have the opportunity to make brief presentations to an audience of up to 1,000 local business leaders, investors and supporters. The grand prize winner will receive an additional $50,000 in prize money.

The last season of the MN Cup drew over 800 entrepreneurs. Applications are open until Friday, April 15 at midnight. The final award ceremony is tentatively slated for Sept. 19.

For more information, visit or email .

Angie Wieck is the business editor for The Forum. Email her at
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