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Dave Olson, Published August 20 2013

Fargo summit highlights Red River Valley technology sector

FARGO – North Dakota’s blossoming technology sector took center stage during “The State of Technology” summit here Tuesday.

The event, sponsored by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., underscored advancements in several industries and explored the opportunities that may help and obstacles that may hinder a stronger technology sector in the Red River Valley.

The summit also shined a spotlight on some Red River Valley companies, including: Evolution1, Pedigree Technology and Myriad Devices.

One of Evolution1’s creations is a smartphone application that saved employees billions of dollars in 2012 through such things as lower annual health care costs and tax savings.

Pedigree Technology is the developer of a mobile-to-mobile application that allows farmers, companies and others to know where their fixed and mobile assets are at any given time.

A cellphone application developed by Myriad Devices can tell emergency workers the whereabouts of a cellphone user if the user needs help.

Many opportunities

Hoeven said the goal of the summit, an annual event, is to make sure the Red River Valley remains a leader in technology development.

“Where do we go from here?” Hoeven said, adding he appreciated comments made during a keynote address by Doug Burgum, a Fargo entrepreneur and philanthropist who said North Dakota has an unprecedented opportunity to become a low-tax and business-friendly state.

Tami Reller, who is originally from the Grand Forks area and is now executive vice president of Microsoft’s marketing group, said she expects devices such as smartphones and tablets that serve multiple uses to remain the focal point of new technologies.

“It’s incredible to see how much power they have,” she said of today’s devices, adding that companies can capitalize on that power by finding ways to help customers use their devices to seamlessly blend personal and professional lives.

“Anytime there’s a seam, there’s likely a business opportunity,” she said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555