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Wendy Reuer, Published January 25 2013

TRADE TALK: A weekend of business strategy

Novices to the business industry interested in starting their own company will have a chance to rub elbows with the experts at an upcoming “Startup Weekend” in downtown Fargo.

The event scheduled for March 8-10 is part of a “global grass-roots” movement for entrepreneurs. Startup Weekend started as a nonprofit organization in Seattle, and then branched out to more than 200 cities around the world.

Startup Weekend begins with an open forum where business ideas are pitched by anyone with an idea for a new business. The top ideas are then chosen by popular vote and teams are formed to develop those ideas over the weekend.

The business ideas are then presented to local business leaders for critique and more feedback on Sunday.

Local business leaders participating include Dr. Susan Mathison, founder of the Catalyst Medical Center; Shane Neuerburg, co-founder of Dwolla; Johnathon Rademacher, Sundog executive; and James Burgum, managing director of Arthur Ventures LLC.

The event begins March 8 at Ecce, 216 Broadway. Teams will work on the ideas throughout the weekend in the Loretta Building, 208 Broadway, before presentation of the finished models on the stage of the Fargo Theatre.

To sign up, visit http://fargo.startupweekend.org.

New owner

An Eighth Street business in downtown Fargo known as The Studio is operating under new ownership.

Leanne Sucrow – who formerly ran the business as part of a collective group – is now the sole proprietor of The Studio.

The Studio, at 11 8th St. S., is a space where artists, designers and other small businesses

can market their products. The Studio is based on the occasional sale model, so hours vary.

Sucrow, of Fargo, is an interior designer and owns The Green Room, a green design firm. Sucrow sells her artistic and reclaimed items at The Studio, and gives creative start-up businesses a place to establish their brands.

For a list of upcoming sales at The Studio, visit www.Facebook.com/


‘Tanks of Thanks’

Cenex’s “Tanks of Thanks” program kicked off this month.

More than 2,600 people – 53 in North Dakota– were given a total of $132,000 last year in free fuel through the program.

People are nominated online for the good deeds and good work they do. Each month, Cenex randomly chooses 100 nominees to received $50 in free gas.

“The Tanks of Thanks program is our way of saying thank-you to the people who do their part to make the communities we serve just a little bit better.” Akhtar Hussain, CHS refined fuels brand marketing manager said in a statement. “We have been overwhelmed by the thousands of inspirational stories that people have shared with us.”

In addition to the monthly drawing, Cenex retailers are also giving away Tanks of Thanks gift cards to reward individuals they see doing good in their communities.

Nearly all the 1,400 Cenex brand dealers and retail locations across 19 states are locally owned and operated. There are more than 132 locations in North Dakota.

Nominations can be made at www.tanksofthanks.com.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530