How do I know if I’m eligible to participate in the program?
Innovate ND is open to new entrepreneurs as well as established business owners with revenue less than $1 million per year. To be eligible, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Must be innovative in the way they do business. Can be an existing business model but a new innovative approach must be involved.
- Must be a scalable business.
- Business ideas/ventures must be serving a market outside of their initial community.
- Participants must be based in North Dakota.
Applicants who do not meet the above requirements can still attend boot camps and competitions for $250/year.
Can my business partner and I submit an entry together?
Yes, business ideas may be submitted to Innovate ND individually or as a team.
Individuals or teams may submit as many original ideas as they wish but they must be the original work of the entrants.
Is there a fee to sign-up?
Yes, there is a $250 fee to begin participating in Phase I of the program.
Are there additional fees throughout the duration of the program?
The Innovate ND program is divided into phases, all of which provide the opportunity for participants to gain access to additional support. After review and approval, participants that advance to Phase II of the program are eligible for up to $5,000 worth of technical support with an investment of $500. Phase III does not have any enrollment fees but the entrepreneurial center may charge a grant processing fee.
What if I am already enrolled in Innovate ND or received a Technology Based Entrepreneurship Grant (TBEG)?
Every two years North Dakota's Legislation evaluates funding to state programs and Innovate ND & TBEG are programs that are evaluated each biennium. Due to new funding for the 2015-2017 biennium the North Dakota Department of Commerce created some new changes to Innovate ND & TBEG. The most significant change is combining both Innovate ND and TBEG into one program. Since both programs were so similar it made sense to merge them into one program. As a result if your business is innovative and scalable you may be eligible for up to $24,000. If you received any previous Innovate ND or TBEG funding you cannot receive more than $24,000.
What happened to the Technology Based Entrepreneurship Grant (TBEG)?
TBEG has now been renamed Innovate ND. Please see above for further explanation.
How fast can I move through the program?
It is up to you how fast you and your business wants to move through the different phases. You will still need to meet the requirements for each phase but as long as you are meeting those requirements you are able to move as quickly as you would like.
I have participated in Innovate ND before can I participate again?
It depends but typically if it is the same idea that you have done in the past it may not be eligible for the new program. Also if you have received funding already you will also need to account for the $24,000 cap mentioned above.
I have a new business idea can I apply if I have already been in Innovate ND?
Entrepreneurs have lots of ideas and more than likely you will have many more. To make sure we are helping as many entrepreneurs as possible we limit Innovate ND on a per entrepreneur basis. If you have already received the maximum benefit for your company you are not eligible for anything else even if you have a new business or business idea. Take the knowledge gained in Innovate ND and apply it to your next business.