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August 23, 2019 Newsletter
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Montana High Tech News

Companies Come Together to Address Childcare Shortage for Montana’s High-tech Workforce

Rob Grunewald, economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, speaks to Montana leaders about the childcare shortage in Montana. Photos by Jessie Moore Photography.

By Christina Henderson

Across multiple sectors, many working parents start looking for daycare when they are three months pregnant, but still don’t have a spot for their baby when their parental leave ends. Some couples resort to paying to be on wait lists, or even coordinating their family planning to line up with available childcare slots. Parents who do find a daycare often have no second option if there are problems with a provider.

For the more than 25 executives who gathered for the Montana High Tech Business Alliance’s CEO Roundtable on July 17, 2019 at Zoot Enterprises in Bozeman, stories like these offer a sobering reminder of the impact of the childcare shortage facing Montana workers.

According to a 2018 report from the Montana Department of Labor and Industry presented by Rob Grunewald, economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, licensed childcare facilities in Montana only have capacity to serve 40 percent of children under age five. Rural counties often have a much lower capacity.

Lack of childcare availability in Montana has a measurable impact on workforce availability. Grunewald cited a survey conducted by the Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce in which nearly half of respondents — 47 percent — indicated they had scaled back or abandoned their career or expect to do so in response to childcare issues.

Grunewald noted that Montana has about 30,000 women with children under the age of six and the labor force participation rate for these mothers is around 67 percent. By Grunewald’s estimates, if labor force participation for women with young children was the same as Minnesota, Montana would have about 5,000 more employees in a state that is already strapped for talent.

But the conversation also highlighted innovative examples of high-tech and manufacturing companies that are expanding the availability of safe, quality childcare for families and in the process improving company culture and employee retention. Leaders from Printing For Less (PFL), Zoot Enterprises, and MyVillage shared success stories of free enterprise solutions to help fill Montana’s childcare gap for workers.

Read more

Member News:

LumenAd, XY Planning Network, Foundant Technologies, and Advanced Electronic Designs make 2019 Inc. 5000 list

Eleven Montana companies made Inc.'s annual list of the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S., including four Alliance members. LumenAd was named the 29th fastest-growing company in the nation and placed 4th on the list of Top Software companies. XY Planning Network ranked 29th on the list of Top Financial Services companies in the nation. 

All of these companies placed in the top 10 Montana companies. This is Foundant's sixth time placing on the Inc. 5000 list.
 
RANK COMPANY GROWTH INDUSTRY REVENUE CITY
29 LumenAd 7045% Software $11.8 million Missoula
553 XY Planning Network 804% Financial Services $5.3 million Bozeman
3488 Foundant Technologies 101% Software $8.1 million Bozeman
4587 Advanced Electronic Designs 63% Engineering $3.9 million Bozeman
           
Companies on the 2019 Inc. 5000 are ranked according to percentage revenue growth from 2015 to 2018. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2015. They must be U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit, and independent--not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies--as of December 31, 2018. (Since then, some on the list may have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2015 is $100,000; the minimum for 2018 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Growth rates used to determine company rankings were calculated to three decimal places. There were 12 ties on this year's Inc. 5000.

Read more from Inc.

Watch a video of LumenAd CEO Ryan Hansen speaking about his company's placement.

Schedulicity in Bozeman Secures $22M Funding Round to Drive Growth and Announces Launch of Payment Processing Technology

Schedulicity, the leading online platform for consumers to schedule appointments, classes and workshops in more than 50 industries—announced on Aug. 13 a $22 million funding round, raised with private investors. This capital will support the launch of a disruptive payment processing platform, an upcoming consumer-facing brand campaign, as well as growth at the company's Bozeman, Montana headquarters.

Schedulicity Pay will offer users the lowest rates in the industry, with a 1.99% card processing fee. The launch includes the release of a countertop payment processing device, as well as a mobile credit card reader that will be distributed to thousands of new and existing Schedulicity businesses this month.

"By launching payment for our partner businesses at the lowest rates available, and with no contracts or hidden fees, we are aiming to create the simplest solution for small business owners around the country," said Jerry Nettuno, Schedulicity Founder and CEO. "We are setting out to demystify payment processing while offering our professionals the tools and extra resources to be the best entrepreneurs they can be." 

Schedulicity has experienced rapid growth as online and mobile scheduling become the preference for consumers in the salon, spa, health and wellness categories. The platform saw 20 million bookings in 2018, and more than $8 billion in revenue has been generated on the platform by more than 120 thousand service professionals since the company's launch in 2010.

Schedulicity was also named a 2018 High-Growth Company to Watch.

Read more.

Bozeman tech companies bring in over $34 million in investment capital 

By NBC Montana

Technology companies Schedulicity and Quiq are both based in Bozeman and to-date have raised millions of dollars in investment capital, which they say goes right back into the local economy.

One provides a platform for consumers to schedule services online with small businesses, and the other helps consumers engage with national retailers quicker.

"When I started Schedulicty it was one of the very first tech firms in the valley, and I was told by a lot of people it was hard to do, but I felt like it was conducive; I felt like it was a place that people wanted to be, and I felt like the talent around here was as good as any place else," said Jerry Nettuno.

Read more.

360 Office Solutions partners with Billings tech support company Technology by Design

From left, Ken Lutton, of Technology by Design and Greg Reiss and Craig Bartholomew, of 360 Office Solutions, are shown in 360's warehouse on Pierce Parkway. The two companies have announced a merger. Photo by Larry Mayer/Billings Gazette

By Mari Hall/Billings Gazette

In November, a local information technology company will move in with 360 Office Solutions after the two companies merged in April, helping the office store live up to its name of providing all the services a business needs to succeed.

Technology By Design, now located on Grand Avenue, plans to move into the Billings-based company’s location on Pierce Parkway and provide more than just computer support services and products. Now, 360 Office Solutions will offer everything an office needs, from paper and pencils to office furniture and IT services.

Ken Lutton, president and founder of Technology By Design, said that his company has had a niche for small businesses since it began in 2005, assisting with network connectivity, computers, wireless internet, surveillance and more.

360 Office Solutions has been using the IT company’s services since 2013. Talks of merging started 5 years ago.

“We’re now a four-legged stool,” Lutton said. “We are everything, including the break room and the facilities. So we are able to supply your break room and janitorial supplies; everything in an office now.”

360 Office Solutions started as a printing company in Billings in 1946. When they started expanding, they changed their name and now partner with over 14 other businesses across Montana.

Read more.

Subscribe to tech and manufacturing newsletters around the state

The Department of Commerce has a new economic and community development focused newsletter called Commerce Connection. Sign up here to receive it.

You can find links to more Montana tech and manufacturing newsletters on our website.
Cognizant ATG: State of the University: Bodnar says UM must be ‘flagship for America’s future’ (Missoula Current) 
Perficient: Perficient Digital Recognized as First Adobe Solution Partner Globally to Achieve Marketo Engage Specialization (BusinessWire) 
Bridger Aerospace, Ascent Vision: Bozeman high-tech firm provides jobs for veterans and Montana State University graduates (KXLH) 
Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Next Frontier Capital, Early Stage Montana: MSU awarded federal money for statewide tech grants (Bozeman Daily Chronicle) 
Missoula Economic Partnership: Report: Missoula County leads state in new job creation (Missoulian) 
Montana State University College of Engineering: Helena robotics team returns from Johnson Space Center (Helena Independent Record) 
Triple Tree, Blackstone LaunchPad at MSU: Triple Tree Grows Nationally from Bozeman (Innovate Montana) 
XY Planning Network: XY Planning Network Welcomes Its 1,000th Advisor Member As Alternative Fee Models Gain Momentum (Markets Insider) 
Girls in STEM: Kalispell Girl Scouts Win LEGO Robotics Trophy (Flathead Beacon)

Welcome New Members:

Blacksford, Jonathan Distad, Bozeman
Charmed, Taylor Margot, Missoula
Two Bear Capital, Ryan Castonia, Whitefish

Upcoming Events:

Special invitation:
MHTBA Kalispell Reception 

September 10, 2019, hosted by Glacier Bank 

The vintage Desoto Grill in Kalispell, previously known as The Forge, will be our setting once again for the Alliance member reception Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 from 5-7 PM, hosted by Glacier Bank.

RECEPTION:

WHAT:  Networking for Montana High Tech Business Alliance members
WHEN:  Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 5:00-7:00 pm
WHERE: Desoto Grill, 227 1st St West, Kalispell, MT 59901. Click here for a map

Join the Montana High Tech Business Alliance as our guest for an evening of networking and conversation. Beer, wine, and appetizers will be served. Significant others are welcome.

Prospective members are invited to attend one reception for free before we ask them to join the Alliance

Attendance is free, but advance registration is required. Use the link below to register yourself and your guests online by Tuesday, September 3, 2019. If you have any questions please contact Katy Spence at katy.spence[at]mthightech.org.

Register Now
Business Transition Readiness Workshop - Missoula:  August 27, Goodworks Ventures, 129 W Alder St, Missoula. A half-day workshop designed to help business owners, especially those in manufacturing, achieve more successful transitions. Montana’s first and only certified exit planning adviser will help owners identify action steps to begin “de-risking” their businesses, increase value, and improve their transition outcomes. Transition readiness is “just” good business, and owners who commit to becoming more transition ready will enjoy greater financial success, better legacy outcomes, and increased personal fulfillment.  Business owners will learn what transition readiness is, why it matters, and how to improve their personal and business outcomes. Learn more and register.
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: 
08/09/2019 - 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
06/27/2019 - Cybersecurity tips from MT experts; PFL expansion in Livingston; Early Stage MT HyperAccelerator; Big Sky Dreamin' Salesforce conference in Bozeman
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