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America's Best Entrepreneurial Governor

June 13, 2017View for printing

Doug Burgum, North Dakota's first-term Republican governor, has a unique background in software and venture capital. The North Dakota native and graduate of Stanford's business school invested in tiny Great Plains Software in 1983 and became its CEO, growing the accounting software firm to 2,000 employees.

In 1997 Great Plains went public, and in 2001 it was sold to Microsoft for $1.1 billion. Burgum later was an early investor in SuccessFactors, which sold to SAP for $3.4 billion in 2012, and Atlassian, a Sydney, Australia cloud software company that went public on the Nasdaq in 2015. Burgum served as Atlassian's chairman before stepping down to run for governor in 2016.

Rich Karlgaard

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