July 25, 2019 Newsletter
View this email in your browser

Montana High Tech News

Montana High-Growth Companies to Watch 2019

Illustration by Kyla Kozole/MHTBA.

By Katy Spence

The Montana High Tech Business Alliance is pleased to announce our 2019 High-Growth Companies to Watch in tech and manufacturing. While many of the companies from our 2017 and 2018 lists continue to experience high growth, we have a new batch of businesses you’ll want to keep your eyes on this year. We consulted with experts at Next Frontier Capital, Frontier Angels, and Early Stage Montana and narrowed down this year’s list to eight companies.

To select the finalists, we looked for companies with five or more employees that fit two or more of the following criteria:

  • Plan to expand operations or add a significant number of jobs during the next year
  • 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
  • Recently landed major clients or entered new markets
  • Have management teams led by experienced entrepreneurs or top experts in their fields
  • Recently secured significant investment

Here are our picks in alphabetical order:

Read more

Member News:

Bozeman's Quiq raises $12.5 million in Series B funding round

Quiq, a conversational engagement platform and business messaging solutions provider, announces that it has closed a $12.5 million Series B funding round, led by Foundry Group, with participation from Teamworthy Ventures and existing investors Venrock and Next Frontier Capital. Quiq works with over 120 clients including major brands like Overstock, Pier 1, Office Depot, and Men’s Wearhouse to power digital commerce and service conversations.

“This investment validates our vision that digital engagement channels, like messaging and chat, are the future of consumer communications and that asynchronous messaging will be the foundation of the next generation enterprise contact center,” said Mike Myer, founder and CEO of Quiq. 

The company will use the funding to continue to build out Quiq's industry-leading engagement platform and to make it smarter with bots & AI to deliver the next generation of conversational commerce, including the first messaging-based shopping cart. Quiq will also continue to build its go-to-market team in advance of the upcoming digital transformation of customer communications.

Read more.

Morrison-Maierle Systems receives elite industry award

As computer networks and threat vectors become increasingly advanced, the demand for an informed IT strategy is rising. Many businesses and municipalities choose to outsource their IT needs to a Managed Service Provider, or MSP.

The MSP Alliance is an international association established to verify that providers in its membership base are reputable, qualified, and trustworthy. Morrison-Maierle Systems has once again completed the MSP Alliance’s Unified Certification Standard (UCS), the oldest certification for Managed Service Providers worldwide.

They are the only provider in Montana to undergo this annual business audit, and it is likely one reason they have recently gained wider recognition as a leader in their field.

Morrison-Maierle Systems announced their placement on the prestigious Channel Futures MSP 501 rankings last week. They are among only 27 MSPs from the western United States to represent the Mountain Region, and they are the sole provider in these rankings to represent the state of Montana.

Read the full press release.

Grants available for Montana manufacturers through Smart Talent Program

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC) currently has a limited number of grant funding opportunities available for manufacturers to help provide Smart Program Training.

Smart Talent Program Overview

Smart Talent addresses Montana’s urgent talent gaps by providing immediate and short-term industry-based training that increases worker proficiency. At the same time, the change in organizational culture sets into place career paths and ladders for all employees as well as new hiring processes, thus helping Montana’s advanced manufacturing industry to learn how to address the talent gaps by effectively hiring and training workers themselves.

The anticipated ROI for each participating company is at minimum:

• 50% or greater decrease in employee training time.
• 25% reduction of non-value added work (training and creation of standard work processes).
• 15% reduction in employee loss during the 90-Day Evaluation period for non-performance when appropriate for an individual company.
• Increased rate of internal promotion versus outside hires.

For more information about the Smart Training Program or applying for the grant, contact Shane Cantrell: shane.cantrell[at]

Startups and mentors: Apply for ESMT September HyperAccelerator

Applications are open for Montana tech startups to apply for the Early Stage Montana HyperAccelerator, September 9–13 in Billings. Early stage tech startups should apply for the opportunity for training, mentorship, and financial support.

ESMT is also looking to expand their mentor base. Their current mentors are successful entrepreneurs and senior corporate executives who have worked in large and small organizations across the country and around the world.  

Ideal qualifications for mentoring are:
  • responsible for the successful growth and/or sale of a mid-to-large sized business where they were a founder or leadership team member OR a senior level consultant to larger companies who has worked inside many different organizations driving growth for clients;
  • strong expertise in some combination of executive, operations, finance, sales, marketing, product management, HR, software engineering, tech services, data and analytics;
  • good temperament for coaching and finding ways to share your expertise and influence the thinking of others without having any executive authority to tell them to do things;
  • must love entrepreneurs and their quirkiness and embrace the "anything's possible" stage of early company development while balancing with a more structured ability to translate ideas into action plans.
If this sounds like you, ESMT would like to connect. Contact them through their website.

Montana State University awarded $750K EDA grant to advance state's tech pipeline and startup support

EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program awards grants that build regional capacity to translate innovations into jobs through proof-of-concept and commercialization assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs.

Montana State University-Bozeman is leading Prospect Montana, an initiative designed to create a powerful ecosystem in which technology innovation and startups can flourish in Montana. While entrepreneurship in Montana is very strong, the businesses created in the state tend to be lower tech rather than the high-tech, high-growth firms that are becoming increasingly important in the modern economy.

With this award, MSU will be working closely with Next Frontier Capital and Early Stage Montana to advance Montana’s technology commercialization pipeline and high tech startup support system. The project will increase the volume of patents and technologies advanced by the MSU Technology Development Fund, as well as increase the number of companies engaging with Early State Montana and Next Frontier Capital, ultimately creating a powerful ecosystem in which technology innovation and startups can flourish.

Read more.
Oracle, RightNow, Next Frontier Capital: Missoula tech firm lands $10M investment; plans to add 150 jobs by 2020 (Missoula Current)
Ascent Vision Technologies: Belgrade company designed technology used to thwart Iranian drone (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)
Missoula Chamber of Commerce, Missoula College: $17-$20 an hour right out of high school: Manufacturing company starts apprentice program (Missoulian)
Montana High Tech Business Alliance, Montana Code School, Cognizant ATG: Montana Code School faces uncertain future as enrollment plummets (Missoula Current)
USeek: Huntley Ritter Builds USEEK To Make Video Advertising More Fun And Interactive (Forbes)
STEM education: Summer academy at Tech works to inspire underserved teens to pursue college, STEM careers (The Montana Standard)

Welcome New Members:

Riviera Partners, William Hunsinger, Bozeman

Upcoming Events:

Greater Gallatin Valley Manufacturing Partnership Annual Growth Workshop - Bozeman: July 25. Manufacturers across Gallatin Valley are coming together to make the valley a region of manufacturing excellence. All manufacturing professionals are invited to see how collaboration across a single sector can make huge waves across a single community and eventually a whole region. Learn more and register.
2019 Economic Update Series: Silver Tsunami: Are Montana's Businesses Ready? - statewide. July 30 - Aug. 1, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Great Falls, Missoula, Kalispell. The Montana Chamber Foundation's annual series provides brief mid-year updates and economic projections for local, state, and national economies. The series will feature Patrick Barkey with the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business & Economic Research.  In addition to the mid-year projections for each region, we will take a look at the impact Boomer retirement will have on the workforce. Learn more and register.
1 Million Cups Bi-Weekly Meeting - Missoula. August 7. 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.
1 Million Cups Monthly Meeting - Bozeman. August 7. 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.
STEM Summit 2019 - Bozeman. August 8, 8:30am to 11:30am. The summit will bring together representatives from education, business, afterschool, government and the larger community to discuss how Montana can build a strong Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ecosystem across Big Sky country. Summit participants will explore ways to expand STEM experiences outside the classroom; create a collaborative framework to build capacity for more high-quality STEM learning for Montana youth; and build bridges between education and the workplace. The MSU Science Math Resource Center and the Montana Afterschool Alliance are co-hosting the event. Registration is free and open to all. Learn more.
Hellgate Venture Network meeting - Missoula. Aug. 15. HVN facilitates informal networking among entrepreneurs and advisers engaged in building growth businesses in Montana. Future meetings will be on Sept. 19 and Oct. 17. Learn more on the HVN Facebook page.
Tech Bites: Cybersecurity for Montana Manufacturers - Missoula. August 15. Manufacturing companies, in particular, small and mid-sized organizations, are becoming more susceptible to cyberattacks including data breaches. Join MMEC and Morrison Maierle for a free program and lunch to learn more about developing actionable, flexible strategies to secure your present-day and future success. Learn more and register.
1 Million Cups Bi-Weekly Meeting - Missoula. August 21. 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.
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 or call 406-243-2239 for assistance.
Montana High Tech Business Alliance Reception - Kalispell. Sept. 10, 2019, hosted by Glacier Bank.
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 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.

Find more events at

Past Newsletters: 
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
06/13/2019 - Improving rural broadband; SoFi brings high tech to Helena; LaPointe on ACA board; MHTBA discount for Big Sky Dreamin'; Cybersecurity workshop July 2
05/16/2019 - ESMT announces 2019 finalists; MHTBA membership update; ATG graduates, hires AIM cohort; GoodWorks launches Evergreen; Purse for the People investment
Click to view more past newsletters.

Copyright © 2018 Montana High Tech Business Alliance, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up for updates at or were signed up as part of your membership.

Our mailing address is:
Montana High Tech Business Alliance
1121 E Broadway St, Suite 108
Missoula, MT 59802
Subscribe to this Newsletter

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Montana High Tech Business Alliance · 1121 E Broadway St, Suite 108 · Missoula, MT 59802 · USA