Startup Champions Network Summits

Twice annually, Startup Champion Network members meet in-person to connect, share knowledge/experiences and take a deep, behind-the-scenes dive into the local host ecosystem.  This personal interaction is a critical part of the member value-proposition as well as an important commitment all members make -- to celebrate each other.

These 2.5 day intimate gatherings bring together the nation's top ecosystem builders and national ecosystem support organizations to convene conversations, gain insight from real world case studies, and explore and experience new communities, against the backdrops of some of the nation's top emerging ecosystems. Summits address topics most relevant-to and of interest-to members including:

  • Inclusive Entrepreneurship

  • Changing a community's culture to believe in possibility

  • Fostering collaboration

  • Engaging and empowering under-represented populations

  • Leading coalition support for entrepreneurship and innovation

  • Funding your ecosystem building efforts

  • Forging stronger startup teams

  • Creating mentor-driven networks

  • Unlocking local/regional capital and attracting outside capital

  • Supporting and connecting with corporate innovators

  • And more topics/best-practices from Members


Fargo, ND
September 20-22
Hosted By: Emerging Prairie

We're headed to Fargo

We promise, it's even better than the movie - come see for yourself


**more details to come**

Tuesday, September 19 (Pre-Summit)

2pm - Possibility Symposium on Social Business. Registration to this event is complimentary for all Summit Attendees

Evening / As You Arrive - Gathering of Champions at the Troll Bar

Wednesday, September 20

8:00am: Breakfast of Champions + Welcome

9:15am: 1 Million Cups Fargo 

10:30am: Session - Welcome to Fargo

12:00pm: Lunch in Downtown Fargo

1:30pm: Mayor's Summit on Entrepreneurship, co-hosting by Mayor of Fargo

5:00pm: "TBD," a local event with Founders

6:30pm: Dinner with a ridiculous surprise

9:00pm: Night Cap at the Toasted Frog (optional)

Thursday, September 21

8:30am: Tour of Downtown Fargo (coffee included!)

10:00am: Summit Session

12pm: Lunch. For those interested in Drones / UAS / UAV, attend Drone Focus Lunch

1:30pm: Summit Session

3pm: Funtivities (Fun + Activities) to connect with Champions, create space for creativity / rest / play. You'll like it, we promise.

Evening - A fancy surprise

Friday, September 22

9am: Summit Session

12pm: Wrap up & explore Fargo if you'd like

Join SCN for party on the plains as we explore the region's innovation ecosystem.

Your Host City: Fargo

The 2017 Fall Summit in Fargo will be a 2.5 day gathering bringing together some of the world's top startup ecosystem builders and national ecosystem support organizations.  

The Summit will break all your preconceived notions about Fargo and demonstrate what a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem can do for a community. Thanks to the Cohen Brothers’ 1996 movie, “Fargo,” and a recent television series, the community has great name recognition. But its portrayal on the big (and small) screen and the city’s reality are on complete opposite ends of spectrum. Though you may run into the occasional “don’t cha know” or “uff da,” the Fargo-Moorhead area is bursting at the seams with New Americans, young residents, entrepreneurs and startups.

In fact, Fargo was ranked the #13 fastest growing mid-sized city in the US in 2016. Fargo has been making huge waves with features in Small Business Trends, Fortune, Turkish TV, Forbes and Entrepreneur magazine just to name a few.

Not only does Fargo have new entrepreneurs but there are numerous success stories in the area such as the Great Plains Software acquisition by Microsoft, now Microsoft’s second largest campus right here in Fargo. In addition, several successful startups are proud to have their world headquarters in Fargo:, Vanity, dogIDs, Heat Transfer Warehouse and Bobcat are just a few of the most recognizable national brands.


About Our Host Organization: Emerging Prairie

Emerging Prairie connects and celebrates our entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Emerging Prairie (EP) is an organization that believes in and nurtures the potential of our community and its leaders. We have made it our mission to celebrate the entrepreneurs, artists, creators, and community leaders in the Fargo-Moorhead area.  Recognition of our community’s potential, development of an environment for social connectivity, and the act of highlighting the risk-takers and change-makers is vitally important, as these are the key accelerators of growth and development. Emerging Prairie was founded based upon the following principles in 2013 by a group of Fargo entrepreneurs who wanted to make a difference in the community they call home. 

  1. Educate Our City - By bringing ideas to Fargo and challenging the status quo, we can move our community forward. Through events, programming, and using our influence to convene leaders, we are able to move ideas to action and impact.
  2. Infuse the Arts - We create opportunities for the arts / artists to be incorporated into all of our events and programs. We believe artists are the vital culture creators in a community; culture is a key factor in what makes people choose to build a life in a city.
  3. Build on Our Brightspots - We are cheerleaders and champions of the people who are doing great things in our community. Working from the idea of "a rising tide lifts all boats," we celebrate those that are making progress and positively impacting our community.
  4. Practice Radical Inclusivity - As the fabric of our community becomes richer, we need to create an environment to welcome people from a variety of backgrounds, faith traditions, lifestyles, etc. We do this through actions such as participating in Welcoming Week, celebrating New American Entrepreneurs, providing gender neutral restrooms at events, utilizing "pay what you can" methods and offering vegan food at our events.

Want to learn more? Read the Fargo Thesis, watch this video to spend four minutes in Fargo, and check out our coworking space, The Prairie Den.

P.S. Fargo got a little love from the Boston Globe in March - read all about it.


Logistical Notes

The Fall Summit is an invite only event. For more information visit or send us a note at

What's Covered

With a contribution from the Fargo ecosystem, plus the individual champion registrations, we will cover all daytime events including several meals. 

What's Not Covered

Champions will be responsible for their own travel, lodging, snacks, and drinks each night.

Ready to fly to flyover country? If you like flying Delta, we’ve set up a Delta Meeting Code for your travel.

"Delta Air Lines is pleased to offer airfares for your event travel.  Refer to your Meeting Code NMQ6Z to purchase your tickets and your negotiated discount may be applied. Reservations and ticketing are available via or by calling our Delta Meeting Network Reservations at 800-328-1111.  When booking online, select Book Your Flight and this will bring you to the Book A Flight page.  Enter the meeting code (NMQ6Z) in the box provided."

Bringing Guests and/or Sending Someone in Your Place

All meeting attendees must be fully registered members of the Startup Champions Network or have received an official invitation to attend.  If there is someone you would like to invite/send who is not a member, please reach out to Andy Stoll (andy@seedherestudio) to discuss.  We are aiming to keep this event small to maximize relationship building and maintain budget sustainability.

Lodging Details

  • The Radisson Fargo - 201 5th St N, Fargo, ND 58102 - (701) 232-7363 (a block of rooms is arranged for Startup Champions Network at the rate of $124 / night + tax)

  • Hotel Donaldson - 101 Broadway N, Fargo, ND 58102 - (701) 478-1000 (a beautiful boutique hotel, treat yo' self!)

Past Summits:

Tampa, Florida (Winter 2017)

hosted by Tampa Bay WaVE

Baltimore, Maryland (Fall 2016)
hosted by Startup Maryland

Santa Barbara, California (Winter 2016)
hosted by StartupSB

Portland, Maine (Summer 2015)
hosted by Maine Accelerates Growth

Little Rock, Arkansas (Spring 2015)
hosted by The Venture Center

Nashville, Tennessee (Summer 2014)
hosted by the Nashville Entrepreneurial Center