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September 5, 2019 Newsletter
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Montana High Tech News

Montana Startups to Watch 2019

Graphic by Kyla Kozole/MHTBA.

While Montana has long been recognized for its startup activity, a few recent developments have increased the opportunities for Big Sky entrepreneurs.

In July, Montana State University received a $750,000 federal grant to promote high-tech economic development statewide, some of which will go towards supporting high-tech startups. Early Stage Montana added a second HyperAccelerator in 2019 and just announced their latest cohort of high-potential startups that will be competing for $50,000 in November at a Statewide Showcase. And new Whitefish-based venture capital firm Two Bear Capital is the latest addition to a growing trend of investor interest in Montana companies.

With more support for startups, it’s no wonder our 2019 list is up to 11 companies. We asked experts at Next Frontier Capital, Frontier Angels, Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, MSU Blackstone LaunchPad, and UM Blackstone LaunchPad to nominate early-stage companies. Startups in Billings, Bozeman, Missoula, and Whitefish made the final cut.

To select the finalists, we looked for companies five years old or younger that fit at least two of the following criteria:

  • Steep revenue growth and/or are working in a high-growth sector
  • Poised to launch high-potential products or services
  • Own or are developing valuable intellectual property
  • On track to land major clients or enter new markets
  • Plan to expand operations or add a significant number of jobs in the next year
  • Have management teams led by experienced entrepreneurs or top experts in their fields

Here are our picks in alphabetical order:

Read more

Early Stage Montana announces September HyperAccelerator Cohort and Statewide Showcase

By Early Stage Montana

From Whitefish to Havre to Glendive to Billings, Montana definitely has its share of innovative ideas and driven entrepreneurs. Narrowing them down to only seven available slots was no easy task, but the application pool is growing each round.

These early-stage tech companies will spend five intensive days at the September HyperAccelerator from Sept. 9-13 in Billings, receiving in-depth mentorship and intensive training on what it takes to build and fund a successful business.

  • BlackHyve – A financial project management software helping construction professionals better track and manage costs and profitability.
  • Glacigen – Materials-science business with a patented approach to creating more battery power from existing battery technologies, enabling more advanced battery applications from vehicles to aircrafts and more.
  • HomeManager – A cloud-based software for homeowners to track home maintenance activities, while also sending notifications that help maintain safety, energy efficiency, and property value.
  • MicroLab – Provides high-quality, computer-based instruments, software, and curriculum for college chemistry laboratories, while engaging students in inquiry and research, and offering hands-on learning to the rapidly growing distance-learning student population.
  • MoblHom – An online marketplace listing mid-term housing rentals for people who are relocating or needing temporary housing—a market that is overlooked and lost between the solutions offered by AirBnB, HomeAway, VRBO, and traditional realtor services.
  • Research Lab Source – An online marketplace where buyers of highly sensitive and technical scientific equipment can explore a wide array of options, find what they need, and order it quickly without the inconvenience of having to use a “middleman” or distributor sales rep.
  • Tourbase – A cloud-based software for tour managers that provides turnkey reservation, transaction processing, and communications functions specifically tuned to the needs of tour operators and outfitters.
Read more

Member News:

Special Alliance discount: Primal Storytelling marketing seminar - Missoula and Bozeman

What: Marketing seminar hosted by Can-Do Ideas
When: Sept. 25, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Where: 100 Madison, Missoula, MT 59802
 
This intensive course will give business owners and marketers the storytelling tools they need to be successful in creating online content that garners attention and generates leads. Participants will dive into the Primal Storytelling methodology and by the end of the day have applied the blueprint to their business to create a full story arc with supporting characters and a 90-day content plan.

Key topics:
  • Primal Storytelling overview
  • Instinctual Urges
  • Primal Emotions
  • Tribal audiences
  • Narrative Archetypes
  • Business Plot Lines
  • Google, Pillar pages and content
  • And more
Who Should Attend?
  • Business leaders
  • Marketers
  • Marketing consultants
Breakfast and lunch included. There will be another Primal Storytelling seminar in Bozeman on October 16. Email jquigley@candoideas.com for more information.
 

Special Alliance member discount:

Save 50% on seminar registration with an Alliance membership. Email katy.spence[at]mthightech.org with questions about membership.
Register now for the Missoula seminar

Apply now for the 2019 InnovateMontana Shark PITch Application

Learn more and apply now.

ExportMontana to offer free Export 101 workshop on Sept. 11 in Hamilton

Rewriting the Rural Narrative - a lecture featuring Ben Winchester on Sept. 9 in Bozeman

On Monday, Sept. 9 on the campus of Montana State University in Bozeman. Ben Winchester will give a lecture “Rewriting the Rural Narrative.” The event begins at 6:00 pm with a reception and concludes with a question and answer period.

Ben Winchester is a Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota Extension’s Center for Rural Vitality and is a leading voice regarding rural community vitality. Ben will address current positive trends in rural communities that run counter to common negative stereotypes dominating discussions on the future of rural America. This event, hosted by President Cruzado, is the start of a conversation on advancing rural prosperity, showcasing positive national trends in rural America and stimulating discussion and action on opportunities for broader support of Montana’s smallest communities.

If you would like to attend Ben Winchester’s lecture, please RSVP here: http://montana.edu/rsvp/reimagine.

TechLink: MSU TechLink receives federal grant to help high-tech companies (MSU News)
Blackfoot: Access to high-speed Internet, cell service in rural Montana: A long ways from adequate (KPAX)
Missoula Economic Partnership: City board OKs funding for affordable housing policy, economic development promotion (Missoulian)
MMEC: Montana Manufacturing Extension Center welcomes three new field staff (MSU News Service)
Neuro-ID: Neuroscience giving banks a chance to detect both fraud and friction (Payments Source)
Schedulicity: More businesses moving west in Bozeman (NBC Montana)
Billings workforce shortage: Gazette opinion: Montana jobs growing faster than workforce (Billings Gazette)
Bozeman air travel: Bozeman airport adds direct flights to Philadelphia, New York (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)
Montana job growth: Bullock boasts Montana's economic growth, combating workforce shortage during annual Labor Day report (Helena Independent Record), Montana’s economy continues steady growth (Missoula Current)

Welcome New Members:

DugalHealth, Michael Fox, Bozeman
Fisher's Technology, Chris Taylor, Missoula
Greencastle, Jeffery Green, Kalispell
Neuro-ID, Jack Alton, Whitefish
RavenCSI, Brian Boyette, Billings
U.S. Small Business Administration, Kelly Dixon, Helena

Upcoming Events:

UM Student Employment Fair 2019 - Missoula. Sept. 5, 9:00am - 2:00pm, University Center Ballroom, 32 Campus Road. Career Success at the University of Montana invites jobseekers and employers to attend this employment fair. This is an excellent opportunity for recruiters to network with students to fill employment opportunities. Log into Handshake to register or contact emily1.johnson@mso.umt.edu or call 406-243-2239 for assistance.
1 Million Cups Monthly Meeting - Bozeman. Sept. 5. Meets the first Wednesday of the month at 7:30 am at Red Tractor Pizza, Bozeman. Creating conversation around Bozeman startups, business development, and economic growth in the most entrepreneurial state in the nation (plus, coffee). For more information and application to present, visit the website.
1 Million Cups Bi-Weekly Meeting - Missoula. Sept. 5. Meets the first and third Wednesday each month at 9:00 am. Please note the new location will be in the Southgate Mall in the Leonard + Bonnie Hamilton Community Room, located in a hallway near JC Penney, in-between metroPCS and Tradehome. Start your morning with coffee and start your business with 1MC Missoula, a place to percolate your startup. Entrepreneurship runs through it. For more information visit the website or Facebook page.
Montana High Tech Business Alliance Reception - Kalispell. Sept. 10, 2019, hosted by Glacier Bank.
1 Million Cups Bi-Weekly Meeting - Missoula. Sept. 18. Meets the first and third Wednesday each month at 9:00 am. Please note the new location will be in the Southgate Mall in the Leonard + Bonnie Hamilton Community Room, located in a hallway near JC Penney, in-between metroPCS and Tradehome. Start your morning with coffee and start your business with 1MC Missoula, a place to percolate your startup. Entrepreneurship runs through it. For more information visit the website or Facebook page.
Hellgate Venture Network meeting - Missoula. Sept. 19. HVN facilitates informal networking among entrepreneurs and advisers engaged in building growth businesses in Montana. Future meetings will be on Oct. 17 and Nov. 14. Learn more on the HVN Facebook page.
32nd MSU Annual Fall Career Fair - Bozeman. October 2, 2019 - Networking Events; October 3, 2019 - Career Fair, in all SUB Ballrooms; October 4, 2019 - Interview Day. Join MSU for the 32nd Annual Fall Career Fair. Students and alumni from all majors and year in school should attend to meet with recruiters from organizations large and small regarding internships and full-time positions. Employers are invited you to attend to meet with qualified students for your internship and full-time employment opportunities. Consider the full-spectrum of your organization needs - MSU has over 130 majors in Agriculture, Arts & Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Education, Engineering, Health & Human Development, Letters & Sciences, and Nursing. Learn more and register.
Montana Code School Part-Time Course - Missoula & Bozeman. Part-time class dates: Oct. 8, 2019 – April 14, 2020; Location: Missoula & Bozeman, Tuesday & Thursday for 6 months, 6pm – 9pm + 1 immersive weekend a month. Financing available. Montana Code School’s part-time immersive program gives you the skills and fundamentals you need to land a job as a full-stack Jr. Web Developer. Contact 406-219-1392 or talk@montanacodeschool.com. Learn more here.
2019 Chamber Annual Banquet - Missoula. October 9, Cocktails at 4:30 pm, Banquet at 6 pm. Featuring guest speaker Daymond John, known for judging on Shark Tank. Learn more and register here.
2019 Innovate Montana Symposium - Butte. October 14th - 16th, 8 am, Clarion Inn Copper King Convention Center. With the Butte Local Development Corporation, Innovate Montana will host 400 entrepreneurs, small business owners, and business leaders to ignite innovation and inspire entrepreneurship in Montana communities. Learn more and register. 
UM Computer Science Career Fair - Missoula. October 17, 10am-4pm in the University Center (UC) atrium (the center portion of the building on the ground floor). The University of Montana Computer Science Department is hosting its annual campus-wide career fair for high tech full-time, part-time, and internship positions. Several hundred students attend from various majors. Companies interested in attending can register on the event's website.
Montana High Tech Business Alliance Reception - Missoula. Oct. 30, 2019, hosted by First Interstate Bank.
Value Stream Mapping for Brewing - Missoula. October 30, Imagine Nation Brewing. This class will teach you how to Value Stream Map any process, to identify, characterize, and quantify wastes, and convert those wastes to real dollars.  It will provide practical strategies, tools, and techniques for incorporating environmental considerations, improving business results and adding value to your organization. Sponsorship opportunities are also available for this program. Learn more and register.

Find more events at MontanaBusinessEvents.com.

Past Newsletters: 
08/23/2019 - MT execs address childcare shortage; LumenAd, XY Planning, Foundant and AED on Inc. 5000; Schedulicity raises $22M; MHTBA Sept 10 Kalispell events
08/09/2019 - Photos: Bozeman reception at Zoot; Quiq to grow Bozeman workforce 50%; Missoula's LumenAd growing 2x annually; UM Computer Science Career Fair Oct 17
07/25/2019 - 2019 MT High-Growth Companies to Watch; Bozeman's Quiq raises $12M for customer engagement platform; MSU wins $750K EDA grant to support tech startups
07/11/2019 - Native students in STEM; Alliance membership update; Linn Grove Growth Funds MT investment; Sova LLC & Blue Marble acquisition; ESMT Sept accelerator
Click to view more past newsletters.
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Montana High Tech Business Alliance · 1121 E Broadway St, Suite 108 · Missoula, MT 59802 · USA