Two of my favorite subjects are “Come Back Home” or enticing former residents to return and the power of entrepreneurship. Putting those two concepts together can be very, very powerful.
In BoomtownUSA I wrote about Bart Holaday’s Dakota Foundation, a foundation that the retired venture capitalist, who was originally from North Dakota, set up in the late 90s. Recently, the Dakota Foundation funded the Dakota Venture Group, the first Venture Capital fund totally run by students at the University of North Dakota (UND). Bruce Gjovig is the enthusiastic head of the entrepreneurial UND Center for Innovation which oversees this endeavor.
Holaday related, “My wife Lynn and I want to give students the opportunity for hands-on learning from investing in startup ventures to train both aspiring venture capitalist and emerging entrepreneurs who need to know what it takes to attract equity investment.”
The fund is focused upon businesses in ND and MN, with a special interest in students and alumni of UND The five student managers have backgrounds in finance, accounting, consulting, risk management and marketing. Their first investment was in Grand Forks, ND based TheWineStandard.com.
What could you do to entice a former resident(s) back home?