Five on Friday – Tyler Sletten

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Tyler Sletten is the Entrepreneur Consultant at CFI, specializing in coaching and consulting. Tyler also leads the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Tyler’s background consists of serving in the military and small business development. Tyler was asked to answer five questions about him and his time at CFI:

What is your favorite thing about your job?

“The students – they are my inspiration. The other is the creative freedom that CFI provides. I get to dream and develop solutions for problems big and small, and I love finding innovative solutions.”

When you are not working at CFI, what can others find you doing?

“Greg Syrup, whom hired me for CFI, got me back into golf after a long hiatus, so if it’s warm out there’s a good chance you’ll find me there. My wife and I currently enjoying renovating a home in central Grand Forks, so many days are taken up with projects or getting the yard back in shape. We also enjoy motorcycles and can often be found cruising the town and surrounding communities.”

How have your previous experiences prepared you for your role at CFI?

“My military service led me to my first business venture and had a large impact on my entrepreneurial activities. The National Guard provided me with various things that now directly correlate to business. It taught me to raise my hand, take on challenges and compete. The phrase “you get back what you put in” applied during my time of service and now as I’m helping students and entrepreneurs succeed in their own ventures.”

Where is your go-to Grand Forks spot?

“I am a diehard Speedway guy. It’s right down the street from the Center and it’s gotten to the point where I don’t even need to order. I just show up and a bowl of soup, baked potato, and an iced-tea magically appear. I love it!”

If you could say anything to your younger self, what would you say?

“Invest in Apple, duh!! (just kidding.. sorta). Two things: Join the North Dakota Guard (Air or Army, doesn’t matter) right out of high school! I think the other would be to not worry too much what others think, be true to yourself, and to consider waiting a year before going to college- you aren’t ready- and that’s ok.”