Enterprise on the Prairie

Created by James Caton |

Welcome to our new blog series: Enterprise on the Prairie! In this series, we will showcase the efforts of enterprising residents who are creating value in their communities.

Our region has become a hub for innovation as entrepreneurs recognize North Dakota as an attractive place to do business and call home. The oil boom provided additional fuel for the fire driving entrepreneurial energy here. This is especially true in the state’s largest city, Fargo, which is home to Microsoft, Appareo, Intelligent InSites, and Myriad Mobile, among other tech companies. The city also hosts a number of conferences for entrepreneurs, including the Prairie Capital Summit, TEDx Fargo, and Drone Focus. This supportive entrepreneurial environment has begun to attract national attention. Here are just some of the recent honors bestowed on North Dakota and its largest cities:

North Dakota (state)

  • #1 State for Quality of Life – U.S. News, 2018
  • #1 State for Growth of Young Population – U.S. News, 2018
  • #1 Startup Friendly State - WalletHub, 2017
  • #1 Best State for Millennials – WalletHub, 2017

North Dakota (cities)

  • America’s Most Undervalued Tech Hub – Fortune, 2015 (Fargo, ND)
  • #1 Best Job Market in the U.S. – ZipRecruiter, 2018 (Fargo, ND)
  • #1 Best Performing Small Cities – Milken Institute, 2014 (Fargo, ND)
  • #2 Happiest City in America - WalletHub, 2018 (Bismarck, ND)
  • #6 Happiest City in America - WalletHub, 2018 (Fargo, ND)

Behind these numbers and awards are the stories of creative, hard-working individuals. This series focuses on the region’s entrepreneurs, highlighting their challenges and successes. Each of these entrepreneurs must work to build relationships, interpret institutional context, and leverage social and physical resources to create value in their communities. These are their stories.


Meet the Author

James Caton is a fellow at the Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise (PCPE) and an assistant professor in the NDSU Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics. Read his bio.



James Caton   Innovation   Technology   North Dakota

Top of page