ABOUT US

About the UND Center for Innovation

At the Center for Innovation, we have a longstanding history. 1984 was a great year for inventions: the Apple Macintosh, CD-ROMs, Tetris, and us. Even though we have earned a history of success, we don’t rest on our laurels. We know that today is what matters. 

We are here to be spokes to resources, guiding entrepreneurs through innovation stages, finding a perfect space for their business, aiding in the journey of commercialization, and discovering sources of capital.

Work is changing and we can help. In addition to resources, our Center offers a flexible space for innovators to scale their business. With high tech office spaces, room for meetings and events, and virtual tenancy options, we’ve got a little something for everyone. We even specialize in hybrid work solutions. 

On a Mission. With a Vision.

We work every day to advance the creation and development of innovative and entrepreneurial  ideas, services, and businesses.

As an entrepreneurial incubator, we seek to be the principal leader guiding innovation in the Northern Plains.We work as a collaborative partner in the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Grand Forks, across North Dakota, and as part of the One UND Strategic Plan.

Our Team

We are problem solvers and experts in all the things entrepreneurs and early-stage companies need to grow. Our team works together to be responsive, reliable, and trusted. We are advocates for your success and will offer up resources, strategies, and honesty. When you’re ready to explore new ideas and grow your company, we’ll be holding the door open for you. 

Amy has cultivated an expertise in innovation & creativity. She is happiest when hiking on a mountain trail. Amy is an authority on innovation & creativity. Amy had a hidden talent growing up for stacking her family farm’s best wagonload of hay bales.

amy.w@innovators.net | 701.777.6987

Amy Whitney

Director

Tyler is a multi-talented pro who loves big ideas and solving grand challenges. He lied for years about his height on his driver’s license, is fluent in English, and loves his gluten.

tyler.s@innovators.net | 701.777.6734

Tyler Sletten

Entrepreneur Consultant

Renee Shelton- Renee knows the ropes when it comes to commercialization, especially in the UAS industry. She leads the efforts on CFI’s Legendary Leaders in Innovation program. When she’s not busy supporting the expansion of autonomous industries across ND, you can find her strolling downtown with her partner in crime, Charleston.

renee.s@innovators.net | 701.777.6860

Renee Shelton

Commercialization

Specialist

Travis is the commander of the Incubator (tenant spaces), the technology, and the buildings. You will find him giving tours, fixing networks, or on the roof. He loves his kids, wife, dog and cars, especially cars. So much so that when he was little he wanted to be a race car driver. Today he races around in his yellow Camaro.

travis@innovators.net | 701.738.2824

Travis Fretheim

Technology

Operations

Prameela focuses on finance-related tasks, paying bills and amassing money from tenants and grant reimbursement. She likes listening to music, mostly melody and loves to spend time with family. Her lifetime goal is to visit the seven wonders of the world.

prameela.g@innovators.net

Prameela Garre

Administrative &

Financial Specialist

The Center for Innovation Foundation

The Center for Innovation Foundation works to maintain national leadership in entrepreneur outreach and education, and become the leader in tech entrepreneurship in rural America.

The Foundation focuses on economic development, growing entrepreneurial ventures, and providing secure access to capital for entrepreneurs. Over the past 30 years, the Foundation has fostered over 770 startups, which employ more than 7,000 people. All in all, that’s a combined total of $140 million in investment. 

The Foundation received the designation for the North Dakota/Minnesota EB-5 Regional Center and can now work to build EB-5 investments opportunities.

15 national awards for excellence in innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development have been given to the Center for Innovation Foundation, including four National Business Incubator Association “Soft Landings International Incubator” designations. We’re proud to say we are one of only 25 incubators worldwide continuously proven to help companies expand internationally.

Our Stats

770 Startups

7000 Employed

$140M Invested

15 Awards

Board of Directors

The Center for Innovation Foundation’s Board of Directors are world renowned business owners, investors, and mentors. These UND-affiliated magnates provide feedback, advice and direction for the Center for Innovation.

Co-founder and CEO of Extend America wireless company. 30th Governor of North Dakota. 29th U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Former interim President of UND.

Ed Schafer

American businessman and political

expert

Tyler is a multi-talented pro who loves big ideas and solving grand challenges. He lied for years about his height on his driver’s license, is fluent in English, and loves his gluten.

tyler.s@innovators.net | 701.777.6734

Tyler Sletten

Assistant Director

 
renee.s@innovators.net | 701.777.6860

Renee Shelton

Commercialization

Specialist

Contact Us

What can the UND Center for Innovation do for you as a business, entrepreneur, innovator, investor or student?

info@innovators.net

(701) 777-3132