About Us

Our History

Back in 2014 a group of Grand Forkian friends shared a vision. They dreamed of having a space where entrepreneurs could work with no overhead costs for real estate. Their goal was to support startups and entrepreneurs in partnership with the community. In 2017, The 701 Coworking space was created and several initiatives were started, one of which is 1 Million Cups- Grand Forks. As time would have it, things changed and evolved, including the name.

Evolve Grand Forks incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and oversees six initiatives: 1 Million Cups – Grand Forks, Main Street Grand Forks, The 701 Coworking space, Evolve Entrepreneur Programs, DroneBiz, and Dakno. Evolve Grand Forks is an integral player in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Greater Grand Forks community. We have surpassed our aspirational goal of 40 members in The 701 Coworking and more than 40 startups have stood on-stage to tell their story through 1 Million Cups.

Evolve Grand Forks Staff


maggie Smith, MPA

Executive Director
Relationship builder and a connector who strives to make a positive impact on her community. Maggie Smith serves as the Executive Director of Evolve Grand Forks. She is on the Greater Grand Forks Young Professional's board of directors; a member of the Nonprofit Business Alliance serving on their Social & Economic Impact Committee; and is a member of the Grand Forks/East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Committee. Smith holds a Masters of Public Administration from the University of North Dakota and a Bachelors of Forestry from the University of Tennessee. Previously, she was on the board of the Chicopee Chamber of Commerce and the Young Professionals Society of Greater Springfield, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact from the Women's Fund of Western MA. Smith is a retired yoga teacher (RYT 200) and lifetime member of Girl Scouts of America.


KAelan Reedy

Operations & Culture Specialist


Brandon Baumbach

Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation
Board President and Founder

Brandon Baumbach is the Director of Business Development at the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation, where Brandon works to grow and diversity the Grand Forks regional economy. Among his responsibilities, he coordinates community support programs for new and growing companies in the region. As a co-founder of Evolve Grand Forks, he is passionate about supporting our community’s entrepreneurs and contributing to a culture of entrepreneurship across sectors.

Greta Silewski

City of Grand Forks
Board Vice President

Mark Yahna

Alerus Financial
Board Treasurer

Bridget West

Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation
Board Secretary

Liza McLean

Smiling Moose Rocky Mountain Deli
Board Member

Liza is co-owner of Smiling Moose Deli locations in Grand Forks, Williston & Watford City. Liza oversees all restaurant operations from to human resources, marketing & financials. Liza has successfully acquired, operated & sold franchised locations within five different cities over the past 6 years. McLean received the 2016 Woman Owned Business of the Year award in WIlliston & 2018 Top 25 Women in Business by Prairie Business Magazine. Liza loves to spend time at their lake home, cook & spend time with her family.

Jared Westrem

Board Member

Sandi Luck

Bully Brew Coffee
Board Member

Sandi Luck is the owner of Bully Brew Coffee & the ND Coffee Roastery. Sandi has grown Bully Brew Coffee to five cafes and a roastery (The ND Coffee Roastery) in the last 10 years. Her roastery supplies freshly roasted beans to her coffee houses; other coffee houses and small businesses in the Midwest; including on her online store. Sandi is also a professor at the University of North Dakota in the Marketing Department. She has a passion for teaching and sharing her story to help new entrepreneurs and new marketers to create success for their future.

She has cobranded the University of North Dakota Athletics Department to develop a new coffee blend (Hawks Blend) and with Half Brothers Brewery to create a delicious beer (Bully Brew Brown Ale). Sandi loves being a grandma and a bulldog mom. She enjoys UND sports and traveling with her better half, Brad.

Nicholas Flom

Northern Plains UAS Test Site
Board Member

Kaleb Dschaak

Fenworks, Inc.
Board Member

Get Involved with Evolve GF

With a variety of programs and mentorship options, we have just the right volunteer opportunity for you.