Alaskan Entrepreneurs & the Global Market

This event brought together a number of Alaskan entrepreneurs to share ideas and their enthusiasm for trying new things. Each of the panelists for this panel discussion has tried their hand at a number of different projects and has great advice and insight for us all. This event also featured a fantastic question and answer period with local middle school students.




  • Nicholas Begich has nearly twenty years of business and information technology management experience, and has led and advised global development teams for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to venture-backed startups. He is the CEO and Founder of FarShore Partners, a custom software development firm; and co-founder of Dashfire, a start-up enabler assisting companies with business architecture and technology development. FarShore presently employs over 150 people around the world. Through Dashfire, Begich has invested in and helped to start over 40 technology-supported startups in the past several years. These firms have gone on to raise over $100MM in aggregate funding.
  • Ben Kellie is CEO of K2 Dronotics, a drone service company working to deploy drones across Alaska to increase safety, lower costs, and make new discoveries. Ben was raised as a bush pilot, trained as a mechanical engineer, and spent some time helping SpaceX launch and land rockets in Cape Canaveral. He is now obsessed with helping shape technological and economic future of Alaska.
  • Mary Miner is a co-founder of Atikus, a social enterprise that expands access to capital for micro, small and medium enterprises through institutionally-targeted solutions rooted in technology, data, and insurance. Prior to starting Atikus, Mary worked with CRAN Microfinance, a Kiva affiliate, in Cape Coast, Ghana. Mary has spent extensive time on the ground in multiple African markets, including Rwanda, Ghana, Morocco, and Egypt.


  • Katherine Jernstrom is the Cofounder and CEO of The Boardroom, has successfully built two companies, and supported the growth of dozens more through mentorship, board leadership, advisement, and funding.

HOST: Alaska World Affairs Council


RECORDED: Thursday, November 3, 2017 at Bear Tooth Theatre.

ABOUT: Alaska World Affairs Council Presents is a public service partnership of the Alaska World Affairs Council and KSKA Public Radio. You can attend a variety of live AWAC speaking events in Anchorage. Check out the list of upcoming speakers and topics on the AWAC Events Calendar.

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Eric Bork, or you can just call him “Bork” because everybody else does, is the FM Operations Manager for KSKA-FM. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the FM broadcast. He produces and edits episodes of Outdoor Explorer, the Alaska-focused outdoors program. He also maintains the web posts for that show. You may have heard him filling in for Morning Edition or hosting All Things Considered and can still find him operating the soundboard for any of the live broadcast programs.

After escaping the Detroit area when he was 18, Bork made it up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he earned a degree in Communications/Radio Broadcasting from Northern Michigan University. He spent time managing the college radio station, working for the local NPR affiliate, and then in top 40 radio in Michigan before coming to Alaska to work his first few summers. After then moving to Chicago, it only took five years to convince him to move back to Alaska in 2010. When not involved in great radio programming he’s probably riding a bicycle, thinking about riding bicycles, dreaming about bikes, reading a book, or planning the next place he’ll travel to. Only two continents left to conquer!

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