John Machacek from GFMEDC Startup FYIs: 8/28/2020

To make my “FYI” email more compact, I created this Medium post to further elaborate on the bullet points shared in the email, to the entrepreneurs and other ecosystem folks. Look for the hyperlinks within the content below.

  • AFWERX SBIR — AFWERX is the innovation arm of the Air Force. Part of their mission is to develop relationships with startup/small business communities across the U.S., with the aim of awarding government contracts to companies that can help solve Airmen problems. Shaw Lathrop of Established emailed me some info related to the SBIR grant program and here are the highlights pasted below:
    - Phase 1 applications are awarded within 30 days from close of applications. Startups receiving these contracts are given $50,000 and three months to secure a customer for Phase 2, which can be up to $1.5MM.
    - If there are companies in your network that you think might be interested in working with the Air Force, please encourage them to check out the upcoming SBIR Open Topic. Applications are open from Sept. 23 — Oct. 22.
    - If you’d like to learn more about AFWERX you can sign up to attend a weekly virtual office hours session which gives a brief introduction to the program and provides an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have.
    - Additionally, on 9/1 there will be a special online session with Dr. William Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force. Dr. Roper will be talking about the accelerating pace of technology and how the Department of the Air Force is scaling the cutting-edge AFVentures acquisition model — opening the door for new industry partners, startups, and scale-ups for untraditional dual-use tech opportunities. This will take place on 9/1 at 1:30 PM CST.
    - If you’d like to stay plugged in with future opportunities, we’d be honored to invite you to join the AFWERX Allied Network.
  • Startup Digest Fargo — a reminder of our local Startup Digest Fargo. This is a platform provided by Techstars and I have been the local curator for over four years. The website and my bi-weekly emails had primarily been focused around a community calendar of entrepreneurial and small business events. However, Techstars updated the platform and format away from a calendar, and towards a true digest. I really encourage you to check out the past issues…and maybe even register for it…to get a better picture of what I’m talking about.
  • Twin Cities Startup Week — with COVID causing events go online, this year’s Twin Cities Startup Week will be much easier to access their various webinars, speakers, chats, etc.. Sessions will run from September 7th-25th, every Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Women’s Entrepreneurship WeekWEW 2020 will take place from September 21–25! Sign up at the link to stay up-to-date with the week’s activities. If you’re interested in hosting an event that connects like-minded people, contact The schedule is filling out nicely.
  • She Overcomes applications due 9/1 — “She Overcomes invests capital, training and business mentorship to accelerate the work of female founders and entrepreneurs. We are passionate about cultivating a community of strong women leaders and increasing the growth of female-ran organizations. Participants will be equipped by female industry experts and have the opportunity to implement practical tools into their growing business throughout the experience.Applications due 9/1.
  • SaaStr Annual @ Home, Sept. 2–3 — SaaStr Annual @ Home is a fully digital, immersive two-day conference gathering 50K+ of the world’s best SaaS executives, founders, and entrepreneurs. Grab your FREE Keynote Pass today.
  • Emerging Digital Academy graduates new talent — the EDA program graduated its first full-stack code school cohort, and they are now on the hunt for jobs. If you are looking for tech talent and want info on these students, I suggest contact Liz at
  • GFMEDC website for resources — as always, you can look to our website for various resources such as Financing, Capital, Entrepreneurial, Workforce, Quality of Life, & more. And always feel free to reach out to our staff.

My job is the Chief Innovation Officer with Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation. My world is my family, friends, and positive impacts.