AI Made Friendly HERE

AI, automation and aviation news top this week’s Business Buzz – InForum

FARGO — Detect Auto, a Fargo-based startup working to revolutionize auto repair shops and dealerships through artificial intelligence, recently closed a $748,000 seed round led by gener8tor 1889, a North Dakota-based venture capital fund.

The investment will support key initatives such as further development of Detect Auto’s AI platform, which utilizes advanced computer vision technology to diagnose and improve auto repair processes, according to a Detect Auto press release. The goal is to reduce turnaround times, increase billable hours, and advance the technician experience for repairing vehicles by automating manual entry data and eliminating process bottlenecks.

Detect Auto raised this round of financing after completing the gener8tor North Dakota accelerator, a 12-week program designed to help startups achieve revenue growth and secure seed funding. Once each year, gener8tor selects five startups from pool of applicants to participate in the 12-week accelerator program that includes working with gener8tor staff to accelerate growth, a $100K cash investment and access to gener8tor’s regional and national network of mentors, venture capital funds, angel investors, and corporate partners.

For more information, visit


Grant program established to help businesses automate

FARGO — The North Dakota Department of Commerce recently launched a new initiative designed to help North Dakota businesses overcome workforce shortages and increase productivity through automation.

The Automate ND Grant Program, funded with $5 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, will provide grants of up to $500,000 to North Dakota Primary Sector Certified businesses, such as those in manufacturing and agricultural processing. These grants can be used to cover up to 50% of the cost of purchasing or leasing machinery, equipment, and software for automation projects.

The program aims to achieve several key objectives:

  • Increase productivity per employee: Automation can help businesses produce more goods and services with fewer workers. 
  • Create upskilling opportunities: Businesses can use grant funds from the 

    Technical Skills Training Grant (track C)

     to conduct a feasibility study on the purchase of automation equipment and train their employees on how to operate and maintain the new equipment. 

  • Improve employee satisfaction: Automation can help to reduce repetitive tasks and create a safer work environment for employees. 
  • Boost state GDP: Increased productivity from automation can lead to higher company profits and increased economic growth for North Dakota. 

To be eligible for the Automate ND Grant Program, businesses must:

  1. Be registered in North Dakota 
  2. Be a Primary Sector Certified business 
  3. Have fewer than 500 employees (tourism businesses are not eligible) 
  4. Complete a third-party feasibility study that assesses the project’s impact on productivity, workforce needs, and return on investment (ROI).

Applications for the Automate ND Grant Program will be accepted until May 30, 2024. For more informatino, visit

ndgov /AutomateND.

North Dakota Airline passenger boardings up 10% in February

BISMARCK — Airline boarding numbers at North Dakota’s eight commercial service airports were up 10% in February compared to the same time period last year, according to a monthly report from the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

Commercial airline boarding numbers for February 2024 reached 97,124 passengers, which represents a growth of 8,972 boardings or a 10% increase from February of 2023.

Delta was the most popular carrier. Passenger totals and market share were as follows:

  • Delta: 37,037 passengers, 38%
  • Allegiant: 24,535, 25%
  • United: 20,076, 21%
  • American: 11,511, 12%
  • Frontier: 3,965, 4%

For more information, visit


Angie Wieck is the business editor for The Forum. Email her at

Originally Appeared Here

You May Also Like

About the Author:

Early Bird