The company name, GriZella (http://www.grizella.com), comes from an alien race once employed by Star Trek’s Captain Picard as a third party mediator. Its market is software for the trucking industry to help match up loads and trucks online.
The company started in Denver in 2001, but when co-founder Mark Draeb brought his partners to his small town of Hebron, ND (population 900) they loved the community and decided to move to the tiny town. All of the founders had been involved in previous high tech start-ups, but were looking for a place with a great quality of life. Draeb said, “I had a great childhood here. I think North Dakota is a great place to live.”
The company was the winner of the 2003 Governor’s Choice for Economic Development Award. They currently have six employees with plans to grow to 20.
It’s another great example of an entrepreneur moving back home and creating economic development in their hometown.