Two NDSU Alumni and one current student shared about the businesses they founded at the weekly community entrepreneurial gathering, StartupBrew. Each of them detailed who they are, the founding of their business, how well their businesses are doing, and things they learned along the way.
Brittany Diederich – better deeds and the Business Lesbian podcast
After graduating in 2015 from NDSU with degrees in business administration and construction management, Brittany Diedrich started her business, better deeds, in December 2022. The company, which is currently just Diederick, consults other businesses to improve their practices.
Apart from adding value for her clients, she also has the goals of “improving access to affordable health care, advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, and destigmatizing addiction and mental illness,” said Diederich.
“Entrepreneurship has always been a part of my family,” she said. For her young age, she has built a repetiteur of experience. Her parents were business owners, and she worked at their company for eight years, from the end of high school through last year.
Additionally, in the spring of 2023, she will also graduate with a master’s in business administration from the University of Minnesota.
Her podcast, the Business Lesbian, founded in July 2022, interviews a wide range of people about entrepreneurship and much more.
Jack Lingle – Jack’s Simple Syrup
Jack Lingle is a current NDSU student majoring in hospitality and tourism management. In December 2021, in his parent’s basement, he used his mixology experience to start his company producing unique flavors of syrups for cocktails.
The company has expanded to 20 flavors. Most of them are only available online, but many can be found throughout 10 locations in Fargo.
Like many aspiring entrepreneurs, his first customers were his grandparents and their friends. Initially, he knew little about business, but “I wanted to be my own boss,” said Lingle. Since then, he has grown a lot, but that isn’t to say there haven’t been hurdles.
“It was the most stressful thing I have ever done” is how Lingle recounts the time when he had to recall a batch of products due to an error causing mold in all his products. It all could have ended there, but the clients “gave me another chance.” Lingle added it is important to remember success is not achieved alone, we all need support..”
Cody Shevich – IC Outdoors
Originally from northern Minnesota, Cody Shevich earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering in 2020. Using what he learned in college, Shevich and two close friends from NDSU founded IC Outdoors in 2020.
After having the idea while spearfishing, the three started to develop their unique light-up decoy in their garage a few days later.
At first, they were skeptical if they could actualize their idea: “We had to ask ourselves is this something we can even make,” said Shevich. However, with their experience from school, work, and a lot of youtube and googling,” the product would eventually succeed.
They also attribute some of their success to Innovate ND. They helped them with market research, funding, creating a business plan, and getting a patent.