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Published April 28 2013

Summit in Fargo focuses on mobile technology

FARGO – Nearly 200 people gathered in downtown Fargo on Sunday for a two-day conference on mobile technology that’s believed to be the first event of its kind in North Dakota.

The Midwest Mobile Summit aims to educate businesses, students and the general public on mobile technology and applications through a series of speakers and panels led by industry leaders, designers and developers.

James Dravitz of Fargo-based Myriad Devices, a mobile app development and consulting firm and lead sponsor of the summit along with the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber, said company officials noticed there were a lot of events focused on mobile technology being held on the West Coast and in large U.S. cities.

“It’s ubiquitous around there, but we’re still trying to catch up on that, and we’re one of the only companies in the state that does specifically mobile development,” said Dravitz, the company’s chief strategy officer.

“And so we said we need to get the public involved and help educate them and kind of let them know what the trends are and why it’s so important,” he said.

Dravitz hoped the conference would draw at least 100 people, but registration exceeded his expectations as 197 people signed up, including 27 speakers and panelists from companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Verizon Wireless.

Among the participants are marketing firms, business leaders, information technology companies and college students.

Sunday’s speakers included Stephen Fluin, chief strategy and innovation officers for Minneapolis-based MentorMate, a full-scale mobile and Web application design firm that also has offices in Bulgaria.

Fluin spoke about what companies need to consider when launching their first mobile app, such as their target audience, whether to use a platform for iPhone, Android or BlackBerry, and how to apply the technology to make it all happen.

Fluin said MentorMate’s role is different based on the size of its clients, which run the gamut from Fortune 500 companies to midsized firms to startups.

“If you’re a five-person consulting firm, you still need communication, you still need workflow management, and all of those things are connected to mobile,” he said.

The conference concludes today. For more information, download the Midwest Mobile Summit app or visit www.midwestmobilesummit.com.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528