Jake Joraanstad & Ryan Raguse | Nice Alumni Series

Founders of Bushel | Class of 2011/12

Hometown: Jake - Ralla, ND / Ryan - Wheaton, MN | Currently: Fargo, ND

Ryan and Jake travelled different paths to discover entrepreneurship and build Bushel, a software provider for growers, grain buyers, protein producers, and food companies.

Ryan started at a young age. From his home on a farm about 20 miles south of Wahpeton, he cruised around on his four-wheeler to trap gophers, earning $3 per capture. The county even subsidized his work.

Meanwhile, 400 miles away in Rolla, ND, “entrepreneur” wasn’t a word Jake had ever heard. He wouldn’t learn what it meant until he started studying at NDSU. The Android phone had just been released, and Jake saw potential. He taught himself to build apps by watching YouTube videos, earning a few hundred bucks and a handful of cease and desist letters.

Fargo chose us. The entrepreneurial ecosystem accepted us kids into that world and there was so much momentum staying here. We would have been stupid to go anywhere else.

When Ryan arrived at NDSU his entrepreneurial spirit was reignited by joining the entrepreneurship club and studying entrepreneurship in the College of Business. Realizing that businesses would pay to have digital tools built, he graduated from gophers to apps. He soon discovered his local competitors-the Joranstaad boys. They joined forces to launch Myriad Mobile.

After 700+ projects, they realized their competitive advantage was as technologists who understood agriculture better than anyone else in the industry. The Bushel platform was born, soon becoming the sole focus and new name for their company. Today they have raised over $28 million to grow Bushel into the international leader in software for growers. Each month, 27,000 producers utilize Bushel-powered apps, touching over 19% of U.S. grain volume.

Bushel is headquartered in Fargo and Ryan notes that, Fargo chose us. The entrepreneurial ecosystem accepted us kids into that world and there was so much momentum staying here. We would have been stupid to go anywhere else.”

Reflecting on their active journey, they agree hard work and dedication is essential. According to Jake: “You have to be willing to hit your head against the wall until you break through.”

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The Nice Center at NDSU created this series to demonstrate that entrepreneurs come from all walks of life. As we pursue our mission of making entrepreneurship for all we invite your support through mentorship. Share more about yourself at thenicecenter.org/mentor

Credits: Story by Scott Meyer & Dane Johnson / Illustration by Izak Moleterno

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Posted on November 18th, 2020 by Dane Johnson in News and Stories