Grand Forks launches pilot start up funding program

The City of Grand Forks Jobs Development Authority approved Start Up Grand Forks, a new three-year pilot program to provide seed funding to entrepreneurs.

The Grand Forks Region EDC board of directors and City of Grand Forks Growth Fund also reviewd and previously provided recommendations for program approval.

Mayor Michael Brown convened an entrepreneurial advisory group, which is chaired by EDC Development and Outreach Manager Brandon Baumbach, to develop a recommendation for ways the city can bolster overall economic health and support young entrepreneurs.

“The lack of readily available start-up capital was identified by the advisory group as one of the biggest roadblocks for our entrepreneurs,” said Baumbach. “We are excited about the new opportunities this program can provide to people in our community who are starting to bring their idea to market.”

A committee of local entrepreneurs will work with start ups to assist them in developing their ideas and connecting them to resources that may already exist, he said. “This program will add to Grand Forks’ vibrant entrepreneurial support system.”

Through an application process, Start Up Grand Forks will provide loans to small entrepreneurs. A new Bank of North Dakota program approved by the North Dakota Industrial Commission May 1 will match half of the loan amount approved by the Jobs Development Authority.

Baumbach says the combination creates a flexible, accessible and substantial source of seed capital for entrepreneurs.

Through the program, entrepreneurs can apply for loans up to $20,000. With an available match from the Bank of North Dakota, a total of as much as $30,000 may be available.

For more information about Start Up Grand Forks, contact Baumbach at 701.746.2724 or via email.