As part of our Economic Impact Study, we compiled stories of success from some of our alumni.
From its humble beginnings in a small room in the NDSU Research & Technology Park (RTP), to its recent expansion into a state-of-the-art electronics manufacturing facility, Appareo has established itself as a recognized leader in the custom design, development and manufacture of innovative electronic and software solutions within the industries of aerospace and agriculture. Through the creative application of cutting-edge technologies, Appareo creates complex end-to-end solutions that include both mobile and cloud-based components. The company is an accredited FAA Parts Manufacturing facility and is ISO 9001:2008 certified. All products are designed, developed, built and supported in the USA.
Founded in 2003 by electronics innovator and CEO Barry Batcheller, Appareo has established a trajectory of rapid growth, averaging a compounded annual growth rate of more than 45%. As they began to hire more employees, Appareo’s need for more space led them to the NDSU Technology Incubator in 2007. Once the company employed 50 people, Batcheller built Appareo’s current building in the Research Park in 2009. Appareo expanded the manufacturing facility in 2013 to accommodate a second production line, but quickly outgrew it and purchased the adjacent manufacturing facility in 2014.
Batcheller said Appareo’s proximity to the NDSU campus plays an important role in the company’s growth. “We have access to the product of NDSU, which is really some of the finest minds in the nation. That is something we consume every day,” Batcheller said. The company surpassed the 200-employee mark in 2016 with NDSU graduates making up over 50% of its employees.
Contributing to the growth of Appareo’s agricultural business is the joint venture with AGCO Corporation, the world’s largest OEM dedicated solely to agriculture. Under the joint venture, called Intelligent Ag Solutions, Appareo develops innovative electromechanical devices and systems, as well as technology for advanced machine control systems.
While the manufacturing expansion took place in Fargo, Appareo also continues to expand its engineering capabilities with teams based in Tempe, Arizona and Paris, France. “Having Appareo offices in Paris and Tempe is critical for building upon our global presence, but we have an unwavering commitment to Fargo as our home base,” said President David Batcheller. “We’re fortunate to have access to a rare talent pool here; some of the most passionate, brightest high-tech engineering minds in the nation.”