The HIVE UAS Tech Accelerator in Grand Forks, ND


Sponsorships Available

Help Power Up The HIVE

Here is a rare opportunity to name the HIVE UAS Technology Accelerator! This is the first UAS/Autonomous-focused accelerator in the State of North Dakota. 

This facility targets UAS (unmanned aerial systems) and associated early-stage businesses, integrates UND students from related disciplines, and provides a venue for a variety of related mentors, programming and upskilling courses.  Each successful sponsor will acquire naming rights for the selected space/room for a five-year period and develop recognition signage/graphics (subject to approval).  Sponsorship funds will support the continued operation of the facility.  

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BACKGROUND:  Grand Forks is the third-largest city in North Dakota, home of the University of North Dakota (UND) and the seat of Grand Forks County; Grand Forks Air Force Base is 16 miles to the west.  Grand Forks’ population is approximately 61,000, while the Grand Forks, ND – East Grand Forks, MN MSA tops 104,000.  A UAS-focused tech accelerator was developed here because

  • Grand Forks is one of seven BVLOS locations in the world.
  • Grand Forks has access to a DASR-11 radar system.
  • Grand Forks’ topography and climate are ideal for testing UAS technology.
  • Grand Forks has a distinct, accessible, and tightknit UAS ecosystem.
  • UND produces graduates who are both commercial pilots and licensed drone pilots. 
  • The Growth Fund and the State of ND offer funding to assist scaling businesses in this sector.


Contributing to downtown Grand Forks’ $200 million construction boom, the $3 million transformation of the historic Grand Forks Herald building into The HIVE was funded in part by a grant from the US Economic Development Administration.  The purpose of this facility is to enhance Grand Forks’ position in the UAS industry, and increase and accelerate tech sector job and industry growth in the regional economy.  The HIVE will support UAS and related tech business start-ups/scale-ups through mentorships, training, investment vehicles, and partnership opportunities.  Preliminary branding efforts yielded  “The HIVE,” a name that represents the Hybrid Innovation Venture Engine and also the swarm of drone-related activities it will host and generate.  Its goal is to become the premier UAS accelerator in North America.  

The HIVE will host a variety of relevant programming and events, such as:  

  • Build a Drone — Participants build their own drone and learn how the mechanics of a drone work  
  • UAS Summit – Social event in conjunction with the UAS Summit to bring the local UAS community together with an annual  trade convention
  • Guest Presenters — Entrepreneurial leaders discuss industry topics and trends
  • Targeted Courses — Professional development courses that cover both “soft skills” and in-demand  technical subjects 


SPONSORSHIP TERMS AND REQUIREMENTS:  The minimum bids for room naming rights are shown on the previous page.  Payment in full is due upon execution of a “Naming Rights Agreement,” or may be annualized over 5 years; the term of the Agreement will be 5 years.  If payment is to be made in annual installments, the initial payment of at least 20% is due at execution of the Agreement, with remaining installments due each year on the anniversary of execution.  The sponsorship may be renewed.   

Each sponsor is responsible for costs associated with designing and installing signage and graphics for the sponsored space.  All designs, their placement and installation methods must be approved by the Growth Fund and conform to applicable code requirements.  If the sponsor chooses any electric or electronic signage elements, the sponsor shall be responsible for providing maintenance and timely repairs.   

PROCESS:  Potential sponsors must submit a proposal for naming rights that meets the minimum dollar amounts on the previous page.  Sponsors shall provide a narrative that 1) states why their firm is a “good fit” with this facility; 2) outlines their objectives in acquiring naming rights; 3) describes how their business  will use their sponsorship to build awareness of The HIVE and its role within it.  

A selection committee consisting of Growth Fund members and stakeholders of The HIVE will review all submissions.  Proposals will be evaluated based on both the dollar amount offered and the narrative provided.  The committee’s recommendation will be forwarded to the Growth Fund for final action.  The Growth Fund retains sole discretion and may reject any or all proposals for any reason, and may select a proposal that does not offer the highest revenue, but which it deems the best overall value and alignment with the purpose of The HIVE.  

Based on the evaluation of submissions, representatives of the Growth Fund reserve the right to enter into negotiations with a selected sponsor(s) prior to final action by the Growth Fund.  Following final approval by the Growth Fund, the sponsor will be required to execute a Naming Rights Agreement.