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  • June 18, 2021 9:53 AM | Anonymous

    When Matt Chaussee picked up his first virtual reality headset, the Nintendo Virtualboy, he knew he was onto something.

    “I knew the Virtualboy was revolutionary, but I also felt the overall experience was underwhelming,” says Chaussee. “It needed more color.”

    Out of that experience, Chaussee’s company, Be More Colorful, was born.

    Today, Be More Colorful, co-owned by Chaussee and his wife Katie Chaussee, offers an assortment of services including immersive virtual reality experiences and tours.

    Early Experience

    Initially, Chaussee saw an opportunity to create virtual tours for real-estate agents.

    “My wife and I were looking at purchasing a new home, but unfortunately my wife had an injury that prevented her from entering a lot of homes we were interested at looking at,” says Chaussee. “I thought offering virtual tour services for Realtors® was an opportunity to make real estate listings more accessible to those with mobility impairments.”

    Pivot Possibilities

    Like many startups, Chaussee’s initial idea started evolving away from real estate, causing him to pivot his business model.

    “I love North Dakota and the experiences it has to offer and saw an opportunity to capture some of our outdoor experiences and turn them into 360 tours to lure visitors to our state.”

    Shortly after, Chaussee attended the North Dakota Tourism Convention tradeshow where he connected with state officials who were excited to utilize Be More Colorful’s services to market, not only North Dakota’s tourism experiences, but also the state’s workforce opportunities.

    “Former Commerce Commissioner Michelle Kommer was really excited about using our services to help market North Dakota’s employment opportunities,” he notes.

    Startup Success

    Today, Be More Colorful creates interactive tours and immersive career exploration experiences through a product called CareerViewXR to showcase career opportunities across North Dakota.

    Chaussee recently worked with the Fargo Police Department to create an experience that puts users inside the back of a Fargo Police Department squad car.

    “It gives citizens an idea what it’s like to be a Fargo police officer while allowing users to interact with the environment,” says Chaussee.

    CareerViewXR also allows users to click and interact with the tools the Fargo Police Department uses to learn more about its equipment, facilities, and operations.

    Growth Opportunity

    Chaussee says the demand for his services were accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and he expects his business to continue to thrive as the pandemic subsides.

    “Regardless of a pandemic, how do you put a student or classroom on an oil rig? You can’t. You can’t bring a high school to a dental office, but we can demonstrate what it’s like to work in one by creating a scalable experience that can be deployed to a classroom, computer, or mobile device.”

    Chaussee says his clients also utilize his services on Zoom calls, as it helps clients remember their talking points when they discuss their facilities and operations.

    Looking ahead, Chaussee hopes to incorporate augmented reality (AR) into CareerViewXR experiences, which incorporates graphical information into the real world through electronic displays and devices.

    “It’ll take some time for AR to be fully incorporated into our experiences, but we hope to make all of these experiences part of the curriculum in schools.”

    Interested in having your company featured with TechND? Email us at: kyle@technd.org

  • May 10, 2021 2:33 PM | Anonymous

    Bismarck, N.D. – The Technology Council of North Dakota (TechND) is seeking nominations for its 2021 North Dakota Technology Awards. Nominations are sought in three categories: Premier Tech Business, Technology Innovator and North Dakota Tech Champion. Additional information on award criteria and nomination forms are available at technd.org/Technology-Awards. The nomination deadline is June 30.

    These awards recognize individuals, entities and businesses that are changing the face of the technology industry. North Dakota’s tech leaders will be recognized for their achievements in and contributions to the state’s technology industry. Awards program details are yet to be determined.

    “The North Dakota Technology Awards Program is TechND’s way of recognizing the efforts of outstanding individuals and entities that have played a vital role in the use, growth and development of technology in North Dakota,” says Justin Forde, TechND president.

    Founded in 2000 by North Dakota business, government and education leaders, TechND (formerly Information Technology Council of North Dakota) has spent the past two decades advocating for a positive business climate for technology companies, addressing tech workforce needs, encouraging infrastructure development and providing knowledge sharing opportunities for its membership.

  • December 16, 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    The Technology Council of North Dakota (TechND) recently released its biennial publication, the 2021 State of the Technology. It reveals that more than 7,500 new and replacement technology workers across all industries, including agriculture, energy, healthcare, and finance, will be needed in North Dakota by 2028. Demand for technology positions will create the need for 900 employees to fill new positions. The remaining positions will be replacements.

    “North Dakota’s demand for technology professionals has never been greater. Those needs have only been underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic as remote work and education have become commonplace. North Dakota’s businesses have been the driving force in creating solutions to the ever-changing challenges faced by our world today,” says TechND President Justin Forde, Senior Director of Government Relations at Midco. “As we look ahead to the future, it is clear that North Dakota’s success is tied to the success of our technology workforce.”

    There currently are 7,620 North Dakotans in technology positions, and this projected growth means replacement combined with new positions will equal 99 percent of the state’s current technology workforce. These are professional, high-paying jobs with an average annual wage of $66,113, which is 27 percent higher than the state average.

    Information security analysts is the technology occupation with the highest percentage of projected growth (29.2 percent). Software developers/software quality assurance analysts (19.3 percent) and computer network architects (12.4 percent) are the technology occupations with the second and third highest percentage of projected growth. Through 2028, the three technology occupations projected to have the largest number of openings include computer user support specialists with 1,751 openings; software developers/software quality assurance analysts and testers with 1,566 openings; and computer occupations, other, with 842 openings.

    View the complete publication here.

    Included is additional information on the state’s technology sector in the areas of infrastructure, workforce, trends, competitiveness, and economic impact.

  • December 10, 2020 3:47 PM | Anonymous

    TechND is excited to announce it is a proud sponsor of Curiosity Week, held December 13 - 19th. 

    Curiosity Week is a week of virtual events meant to build up our technology community in our region. Emerging Prairie, Emerging Digital Academy and community members, including member organizations of TechND, will host 30+ events revolving around technology. Digital events will include keynotes, workshops, courses, meet-ups and more. These events will be curated to engage those interested in pursuing tech as a career, provide professional development to technology professionals, and give tech entrepreneurs a place to convene.

    Registration is free and open to anyone. Learn more by visiting: emergingacademy.org

  • October 20, 2020 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    The TechND events committee is excited to announce its next TechTalk virtual event.

    Join us October 29 at 2:00 PM as we explore technology's role at Emerging Prairie and Grand Farm. Andrew Parsons, director of marketing, Emerging Prairie, and Dr. William Aderholdt, program manager, Grand Farm, will join us for an in-depth discussion on Emerging Prairie and Grand Farm's initiatives and how technology is driving these exciting endeavors in the Red River Valley.

    Registration is free for all TechND members. To register, visit: https://technd.org/event-4021897.

  • October 08, 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Bismarck, N.D. – Three of North Dakota’s leaders in technology were recognized for their achievements in and contributions to North Dakota’s technology industry virtually during the Cybercon Conference on Oct. 6 and 7.

    Awards were presented in three categories to the following recipients:

    • Premier Technology Business Award to Aldevron, Fargo
    • Technology Innovator Award to SkySkopes, Grand Forks
    • North Dakota Technology Champion Award to Vern Dosch, CEO and President of National Information Solutions Cooperative (retired), Mandan

    A video presentation featuring the TechND award winners can be viewed below:

    Founded in 2000 by North Dakota business, government and education leaders, TechND has spent two decades advocating for a positive business climate for technology companies, addressing technology workforce needs, encouraging infrastructure development and providing knowledge sharing opportunities for its membership, which consists of more than 65 North Dakota business, government and education entities. 

  • July 23, 2020 3:50 PM | Anonymous

    The TechND events committee is excited to announce the launch of TechTalks – a series of events that will focus on how technology is shaping the ways North Dakotans learn, work, and live.

    Our first TechTalk is scheduled for August 12th at 10:00 AM. This webinar will feature DPI Superintendent Kirsten Baesler and NDUS Chancellor Dr. Mark Hagerott as they discuss technology’s role in K-20 education and delivery. North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education Director Wayde Sick will moderate the event.

    TechTalk is a free, virtual event. To register, visit:  https://www.technd.org/event-3917493.

  • October 31, 2019 10:51 AM | Anonymous

    The interim commerce committee met for the second time Oct. 9 to continue studies on topics mandated by the 2019 legislative session, including the disclosure of consumers’ personal data.

    Congressman Kelly Armstrong provided testimony urging caution to the committee as it considers potential state regulation of consumer data.  According to the Congressman, regulating data privacy at the state level could prove harmful to businesses. Representatives from the wireless communications industry, consumer reporting industry, internet service provider and life insurers were among other stakeholders who testified against state level data privacy legislation. No testimony was provided in favor.

  • October 31, 2019 10:49 AM | Anonymous

    TechND will facilitate a breakout session during the Cultivate Conference on Nov. 14 at the Avalon Events Center in Fargo that will feature a panel discussion on Enhancing Technology Innovation.

    This panel will explore how North Dakota can take technology innovation to the next level, specifically related to agriculture.  Participants will discuss opportunities, barriers and policy needed (or not needed) to stimulate a climate of innovation into the future.
    Panel participants include:

    • Justin Forde, TechND and Midco (Facilitator)
    • Barry Batcheller, Appareo Systems and Intelligent Ag Solutions
    • Drew Ryder, Entrepreneur
    • Anthony Molzahn, Project Phoenix
    • Peter Schott, Genesis Feed Tech

    Register today for the Cultivate Conference using promo code TECHND for your special ticket price of $60 off general admission. Learn more.

  • October 31, 2019 10:47 AM | Anonymous

    TechND is a partner providing the tech industry voice in the K-20W Initiative, a statewide, comprehensive approach to cybersecurity education and workforce training, which has been named a CSO50 Award winner. Code named “K-20W” to reflect every student from kindergarten through PhD and workforce, the K-20W coalition is comprised of more than 40 public and private sector participants including TechND who share a goal of “Every Student. Every School. Cyber Educated.“ The Initiative was also the recipient of a Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service and was a Center for Digital Government Government Experience Award Finalist.

    “We have a unique and robust ecosystem with dozens of committed partners in North Dakota making a huge impact on our ability for every student and citizen to learn computer science and cybersecurity skills – truly foundational for 21st century careers,” said Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley. “There is growing national attention on this exciting initiative, and this team has shown first-hand what can be accomplished through a whole-of-government approach and desire to change the world.” Read more.

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