2019 Annual Report



In January 2020, The Nice Center released its first-ever annual report. It captures our activity from our first year of work. You can download a PDF of the report here: First-Year-Report.

This page shares the same annual report in an online format, so you can learn more about The Nice Center and help us pursue our mission of entrepreneurship for all.



Entrepreneurship is an essential skill that builds empathy, collaboration, and resilience—all traits needed in today’s workforce. 

Our mission is cultivated both on campus and out in the community. As a land-grant university, we work locally at NDSU, throughout Fargo-Moorhead, across North Dakota, and wherever our alumni may reside. 

We provide experiential opportunities through individualized programming and projects for our students to learn, connect, and create, whether they want to start their own business or nonprofit or collaborate on a team. 

By partnering with local companies and innovators, students gain invaluable learning experiences and community businesses and entrepreneurs gain ambitious collaborators for their work. It’s a win-win. 

At The Nice Center, we don’t just learn about entrepreneurship, we become entrepreneurs. 


Empathy is an essential skill for entrepreneurs—and all of us. 

When I arrived in Fargo on a cold January day, I quickly learned the concept of “North Dakota Nice.” I grew up in South Dakota and ran my own business for almost 10 years, but I’d never heard the words “South Dakota Nice.” I took note. 

What makes Fargo and North Dakota special is “nice-ness.” I saw a welcoming community working together to understand and solve difficult problems. As I connected with the community, it was clear our new center for entrepreneurship would be built on the strengths of this place. That’s why we’re called The Nice Center. 

The Nice Center is quickly growing as we connect our campus with the community and state. We added Dane Johnson to our team as Programs Manager in October, and we look forward to employing 14 students this spring to further our mission. With our land-grant history, we see ourselves as ecosystem builders, working to help students, entrepreneurs, innovators, and creators across the state. 

We know great problems can be solved if we use empathy to understand what is needed and how we can help. As we enter 2020 with energy and momentum, we’re excited to bring entrepreneurship to all, so all are welcomed to make our communities even nicer. 

Be nice!

Scott D. Meyer, Ozbun Executive Director of Entrepreneurship


In our first year, The Nice Center reached 5,698 attendees on campus and in the community while granting $185,000 in scholarships and stipends to students and faculty. 


Fargo Roots, Regional Ecosystem

Our Fargo headquarters is our strategic advantage. From this dynamic community, we build partnerships and collaborations that reach around the world and help us fulfill our mission of “Entrepreneurship For All.” 

The Nice Center also helps build the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Fargo. By connecting students with opportunities and entrepreneurs, we help retain talent and seed an innovative workforce. 


The Nice Center gave me confidence that I can do things I didn't know I could do before.

-Emily Avdem

The resources The Nice Center has given us haave been amazing. I've made connections in the community that I never would have been able to otherwise.

-Hannah Lange

The Nice Center provided great mentorship for us along with the connections needed to help grow our business and jump-start our potential.

-James Slagle