Application period is now open!

The Legacy Investment for Technology Loan Fund (LIFT) was appropriated $10M for the 2023-2025 biennium.

The Legacy Investment for Technology Loan Fund (LIFT) is an innovation loan fund that supports technology advancement by providing financing for commercialization of intellectual property within the state of North Dakota.  The following industries qualify for these funds:  

  • Advanced computing and data management
  • Agriculture technology
  • Autonomous and unmanned vehicles and related technologies
  • Energy
  • Health care
  • Value-added agriculture
  • Value-added energy
  • Any industry or area specifically identified by the committee as an industry that will contribute to the diversification of the state’s economy.

The use of the loan funds are available to enhance capacity and to the extent possible, leverage state, federal and private sources of funding. Loan funds may be used to conduct applied research, experimentation, or operational testing within the state. Loan funds may not be used for capital or building investments or for academic research, academic or instructive programming, workforce training, administrative costs, or to supplant funding for regular operations of institutions of higher education.

Approval for the LIFT fund applications shall be made by the LIFT Fund Committee with consideration given to the following: 

  1. Deliver applied research, experimentation or operational testing in one or more of the diversification sectors to create information or data to enhance North Dakota companies or industries or companies making investments in North Dakota.
  2. Lead to the commercialization or patent of an innovation technology solution, or
  3. Result in the development of a new company or expansion of an existing company that will diversify the state’s economy through new products, investment, or skilled jobs.

Two important factors the committee looks at to validate the intellectual property being developed are customer traction and private capital invested in the company. 

If approved, the applicant will work with the Bank of North Dakota to structure and establish the loan and access the funds. The Bank of North Dakota establishes terms and conditions of the loan.

  • Zero percent interest and no required payments for the first three years of the loan
  • Two percent interest, with monthly interest payments, for the next two years of the loan; and
  • All principal due at maturity, at the end of five years. Upon approval by the Bank of North Dakota, the loan may be refinanced at the beginning of year six, at an interest rate equal to a standard Bank of North Dakota loan for all subsequent years.

The applicant determines the dollar amount they request from the LIFT Fund.  Tips to consider:

  1. The award is a loan administered by the Bank of North Dakota with all principal due at maturity, at the end of five years.  The company’s financial projections need to support the company’s ability to repay the loan within the five-year term.
  2. The average award amount is between $250,00 and $500,000 per applicant.  On rare occasions, awards have been higher where the applicant is a startup and clearly demonstrated their market traction through customer validation or outside capital investment or the applicant is an established business with a healthy balance sheet. 
  3. In cases where the committee awards the applicant less than the requested amount, the applicant must show they can secure the shortfall before the Bank of North Dakota will release the LIFT funds.
    1. Example:  The applicant requests $500,000 from the LIFT Fund.  The committee awards the applicant $300,000.  The applicant must show they have secured the shortfall of $200,000 from another funding source prior to the LIFT funds being released.
  4. The LIFT Committee may at its discretion apply contingencies to a loan award.
    More information can be found by visiting N.D.C.C. Chapter 6-09.18.

LIFT Fact Sheet

LIFT Impact



Carla Valentine

For more information on the Legacy Investment for Technology Loan Fund, contact Carla Valentine.

LIFT Application Process

Application period is now open!

The Legacy Investment for Technology Loan Fund (LIFT) was appropriated $10M for the 2023-2025 biennium.

The application process:

  1. Complete and sign the LIFT Application Form (SFN 61662)
  2. Email the completed LIFT Application Form (SFN 61662) and all required supplemental documents to Carla Valentine.  The required supplemental documentation includes:
    1. A business plan
    2. Historical financial documents, including a balance sheet, statement of cash flows, profit and loss statement, and tax returns.  Provide three years, unless business has not been in existence for three years, then provide all years in existence.
    3. Three to five years of detailed financial projections, including a balance sheet, statement of cash flows, and a profit and loss statement.
    4. A pitch deck.  Necessary items in the pitch deck include:
      1. Description of the intellectual property to be commercialized
      2. Commercialization path
      3. Market overview and viability
      4. Competition
      5. Composition of leadership team/Generic finances
      6. Usage of funds
    5. Organizational documents

All required documents must be provided in the email for the application to be considered complete.  Completed applications will be reviewed by Commerce staff to ensure they meet the criteria outlined in the legislation, then will be turned over to the committee for approval or rejection on a first-come, first-served basis.  Applications emailed without all required documentation are not complete and will not be placed in the queue for review.

LIFT Application 

LIFT Application Guide

Please contact Carla Valentine, Program Manager, with any questions.

LIFT Committee Members

Erik Barner

Barner, a graduate of the University of St. Thomas (2007) and Columbia Business School (2013) is a Fargo native and founder of Broadwater Capital.  Barner has over a decade of institutional finance experience, predominantly in buyside investing roles in both public and private companies, with roles held throughout the country before he returned to North Dakota in 2017. 

Vern Dosch

Vern  has been married to his wife Lynne for 39 years.  They have two sons, a daughter and eight grandchildren. Vern has received Degrees from the University of Mary in Business, Accounting, Masters of Management and an Honorary Doctorate in Leadership.

Vern Dosch served the Rural Electric and Telecommunication Industry for 45 years, most recently  as the president and CEO of the National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) from 2002 to 2020. NISC is an information technology company that develops and supports accounting, billing and engineering software for more than 860 electric cooperatives, telephone companies, municipalities and broadband providers in all 50 states, American Samoa, Palau and Canada.

Vern has served on the Boards of CHI St. Alexus Medical Center, University of Mary, Bismarck State College Foundation, Starion Bank, Light of Christ Capital Campaign, God’s Child Project Foundation, Higher Education Roundtable, Capital Grounds Planning Commission, Yellowstone Strategies, The Gaia Home Project, and Missouri Valley United Way.

Vern retired from NISC in January of 2020

In March of 2020 he answered the call to assist the State of North

Dakota in software development for the Covid-19 fight.

In October of 2021, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC,  Vern was inducted into the National Cooperative Hall of Fame.

Cathi Feeley

Cathi is a Senior Financial Advisor for Alerus.  In this capacity, she manages client relationship by providing comprehensive financial services and advice. 

Her skills in this area have been honed with over 30 years in financial services.  Cathi started in the industry originally working with Merrill Lynch.  Well aware she found her career; she moved to First Chicago (now JP Morgan), at first as an investment advisor and working her way to Regional Manager of a five-state area.

An active member of the community; Cathi is President of the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks, and Region; is a corporate board member of the Altru Health System; board member with the Annual Grand Forks Running Event; and is a past member/officer with Chicago Financial Women.

Originally from Chicago, Illinois and an Alum of the University to South Carolina.  Cathi resides in Grand Forks with her husband Bob.

Michael Jablon 

Michael Jablon, senior director of information at Aldevron, leads information systems initiatives to improve efficiency, streamline operations, optimize information security and design innovative systems that enable Aldevron’s clients to more rapidly advance treatments and gene therapies for their patients. Jablon joined Aldevron in 2008 as a director and program manager. He served in various leadership roles in program management, contract management and information systems management. Jablon has 20 years of combined experience in information systems and project management and serves as an adjunct professor at the Offutt School of Business at Concordia College specializing in management information systems. 

Prior to joining Aldevron, Jablon held a leadership role at custom engineering firm Appareo, which specialized in commercial electronics and software applications for the aviation industry. Prior to that, he was a senior manager at global software development and service provider SEI.

Jablon holds a Master of Business Administration with undergraduate degrees in economics and communication from North Dakota State University. Jablon resides in Fargo with his wife, Karen, and their three children.

Guy Moos

Guy Moos is a Dickinson native. He began working part-time at Baker Boy (the family business) in 1968 while he was in school. He later became Manager of the Baker Boy Pizza & Café in 1974, Manager of The Donut Hole located in Mandan, in 1978, and General Manager of Baker Boy in 1984. He has been the president of Baker Boy since 1993. Since 1979, Baker Boy has grown from 3 full-time employees to more than 220.

He has also been actively involved with many local, statewide, regional and national organizations, including the Greater North Dakota Association (past Chair), Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Advisory Council on Agriculture. Dickinson Rotary Club (President) and St. Joseph Hospital Board (past Vice President).

He is a member of the Bully Pulpit, Inc (Medora – Vice Chairman), North Dakota Development Council, and National Association of Manufacturers Board of Directors (NAM).

In 1993, he along with his father received the GNDA Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. In 1999, he was named Baker of the Year by the Bakers Association of North Dakota. In 2004, he received the Greater North Dakotan Award from GNDA.

Guy married Sandra in 1984. Guy and Sandra have one child (Melissa) who also works at Baker Boy.

Randy Schneider 

Schneider has 39 years experience as a certified public account, business advisor and tax consultant in the manufacturing, real estate, transportation, production agriculture, bio science and construction industries. Schneider holds a verifiable track record for completing multimillion-dollar projects. 

Schneider is currently a board member and treasurer of the North Dakota Bio Science Association. He previously served on the board of North Dakota Energy Policy Commission, North Dakota Renewable Energy Council, North Dakota Ethanol Producers Association, US BIO Hankinson and the Regional International Trade Industrial Development Association. Schneider also served as the chairman for the North Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership Inc., president of the North Dakota Ethanol Producers Association and was a funding shareholder and treasurer of Ideal Energy Corporation. 

Schneider is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Dakota.