Cramer Meets with Entrepreneurs on Start-Up Day
FARGO, ND – In recognition of Start-Up Day Across America, Congressman Kevin Cramer toured a local start-up today and attended an entrepreneurial roundtable event at NDSU Research and Technology Park.
Cramer started the day at Protosthetics, a Prosthetics manufacturer that uses 3D printing to produce and optimize prostetic limbs and orthotics, drastically reducing the average cost to customers.
Josh Teigen, a UND Alum and the President and CFO of Protosthetics, gave Congressman Cramer the tour and described his story on how he entered the medical device community. "What gets me excited more than anything is the ability to disrupt an industry,“ said Teigen. "Hopefully, we can improve patient care and quality of life for people.“ Teigen is also Director of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy and was awarded the 2017 FMWF Chamber Choice Entrepreneur of the Year.
Cramer also attended a working lunch and roundtable with a host of start-up founders at the NDSU Research and Technology Park, a local start-up incubator that continues to lead the way for small businesses in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
Among topics discussed during the meeting include NDSUs Innovation Challenge, challenges hiring employees, access to capital, attracting women in to the STEM workforce, and the work Congress has done to help small businesses. "Fargo is giving Silicon Valley a run for its money, said Cramer. "The work being done at NDSU, and across the Fargo-Moorhead community, is helping fuel a new generation of entrepreneurs.“
Photo with Rep. Kevin Cramer and Start-Up Founders at NDSU Research and Tech Park
Cramer discussed his work in Congress to reduce regulatory burden for small businesses through legislative priorities like the Financial CHOICE Act that sits in the Senate waiting for further consideration. He also discussed legislation passed in the House earlier this year including the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act and the Helping Angels Lead Our Start Ups (HALOS) Act.
Broadband availablility was also discussed in reference to precision agriculture. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and a co-chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus, Cramer is pushing for new opportunities to deploy broadband to rural America through the use of TV White Spaces, a new platform to deploy wireless broadband to rural areas.
"This is more a quality of life issue than anything,“ said Cramer. "When it comes to precision agriculture. When it comes to reliable, low-cost broadband that can travel through tough terrain at very high-speeds, this can really fly.“ Tech start-ups present at the meeting indicated their need for higher-speed broadband on rural farmland as they move to promote high-tech equipment to customers across North Dakota.
Meetings today we’re organized as part of Start-Up Day Across America, an annual event with the goal of connecting elected officials with the startups in the communities they represent so that they can learn about the challenges new companies face and meet the business leaders building the future. This bipartisan, bicameral effort also raises awareness and help generate support for startup communities across the country.
Attendees included: Chuck Hoge, NDSU RTP; John Cosgriff, NDSU RTP; Dean Bresciani, President, NDSU; Kelly Rusch, VP Research and Creative Activity, NDSU; Scott Beaulier, Dean School of Business, NDSU; John Machacek, SVP GFMEDC Entrepreneurial Development; Annie Wood or Lindsay Breuler, Emerging Prairie; Ray Berry, Omnibyte; Tiffanie Honeyman, OpGo Marketing; Corey Kratcha, c2renew; Brad Kubela, Kubela Coatings; Jeff Kamstra, Farm QA; Chris Anserson, Intelligent Malt; David Dvorak, Field of View; Bruce Johnson, Summers Manufacturing; Dean Webster, Renuvix; Mark Miller, Boundri