Archive for August 2018

Bozeman Company Quiq Allows Customer to Message Businesses

A screenshot of how Quiq allows customers message businesses

A screenshot of the Office Depot website shows an option to text to the company, which is a feature available because of Quiq.

There wasn’t one particular “ah-ha” moment for why Mike Myer wanted to create Quiq, his messaging software for businesses.

“People text each other,” Myer said. “Why not text a company?”

Myer start contemplating that question in 2014, and since the launch of Quiq (pronounced “quick”), this Bozeman company has become a competitive player in the software messaging world.

How Quiq Allows Customers Message Businesses

Quiq is a software for businesses that allows customers to message companies in a variety of ways, such as texting on your phone or Facebook Messenger. Some of Quiq’s 80 customers include Office Depot, Pier One, and Overstock.com. The most common way users use Quiq is through text, said Quiq’s Chief Marketing Officer, Dani Wanderer.

“A few years ago or even yesterday you might have made a call to a company’s customer service organization, or you might have emailed them,” she said. “This is just an additional channel that consumers can use to reach out to companies. You just text message your product questions, support questions and connect with an agent. The thing that is nice about text messaging is you don’t have to make a phone call, put your life on hold, or get put on hold. You don’t have schedule time out of your day to get help.”

Now that companies are becoming familiar with messaging platforms, Wanderer said they are focusing on best practices for implementing messaging platforms in businesses.

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From Farm to Table: The Wheat Montana Legacy

Dean Folkvord and the Wheat Montana legacy

Dean Folkvord, Wheat Montana

Dean Folkvord didn’t want to go to Hawaii.

“The first part is, we were young and he didn’t want to go,” said Dean’s wife, Hope. “I had to beg him to go on this trip to begin with. Finally he said, ‘Quit nagging, we’ll go.’”

But it was on this trip during a visit to a pineapple farm in the mid 1980’s that the idea for Wheat Montana was born and the Folkvord family’s entrepreneurship journey began.

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Friday Five: August 24, 2018

Check out these five stories from across Montana that highlight entrepreneurship, the high tech sector, and everything else that makes Montana great!

Brennan's Wave, Missoula

Brennan’s Wave, Missoula

1. River Surfing: Clark Fork Cleanup, Brennan’s Wave Put Missoula on the Top

While Missoula has many endearing features, one of the town’s most popular is the Clark Fork River that runs through downtown. After years of work and restoration, the Clark Fork is putting Missoula on the map.

In June of 2006, Brennan’s Wave, a whitewater park on the Clark Fork River, was dedicated at Caras Park. The underwater concrete structure creates waves for boaters and surfers. The structure is named after Brennan Gauth, a local kayaker and teacher who died while paddling in Chile. Two years later, the Milltown Dam was breached after a long cleanup process.

To learn more about Missoula’s wave, click here to read more from the Missoulian.

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Telecommuting Tuesday: Wayne and Nancy Robinson

Happy Telecommuting Tuesday!

Are you looking for the flexibility to work from home and live in Montana? Or are you looking to change careers or to pivot in your current career? Have you considered telecommuting?

Wayne and Nancy - Telecommuting Tuesday

Wayne and Nancy take in the sights as telecommuters in Montana

According to a study released in 2017 by the Montana Telecommunications Association, Montana ranks No. 1 in the country in telecommuting. Telecommuting offers former Montanans the ability to make Montana home again and is a career opportunity for residents in the Treasure State’s small towns.

Read what Wayne and Nancy Robinson have to say about telecommuting from Eureka!

Wayne and Nancy sold their home in the Boston area and moved to Northwest Montana. In 2008 they built their dream log cabin in the foothills of the Whitefish Mountains, just outside of Eureka, Montana.

Wayne had taken early corporate retirement and brought his new consulting services and clients with him to Montana. Nancy’s Boston Company assisted corporations from US, Canada, and Puerto Rico in relocating and performing housing buyouts to assist new and existing employees in their moves.

Soon after moving into their mountain cabin, Nancy had a request from her back-east employer; “can you help us from Montana, we need you, we miss you”. Thanks to our local rural broadband fiber service provider, Nancy has telecommuted from her mountain cabin now for the past 10 years. Nancy consults and moves massive amounts of data from her home in Eureka, Montana to and from her clients’ across North America.

Thanks again to our outstanding broadband service provider, Wayne continues to Skype-consult with his business partners in Israel and Boston. International meetings are “like being in the same room”. Wayne has also started an Internet Marketing Service from his mountain cabin and offers pro-bono and for-fee assistance to economic development efforts in Northwest Montana.

Wayne has also served on the Board of Directors for the Eureka Area Chamber of Commerce and the Tobacco Valley Industrial District.

Telecommute from Northwest Montana. It doesn’t get better than this.

To submit your own 300 to 500-word telecommuting story, email Alexandria@MontanaChamber.com

Friday Five: August 16, 2018

Check out these five stories from across Montana that highlight entrepreneurship, the high tech sector, and everything else that makes Montana great!

montana brewery

Kettlehouse Brewing Company

1. Inc. Ranks Top 5,000 Companies in America

Every year, Inc. magazine releases its “Inc. 5,000” list that ranks the top fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. This year, Montana had 12 companies make this list. The highest ranked company was XY Planning Network based in Bozeman. Other companies include Submittable, VIM & VIGR and commonFont.

To read the full list, click here.

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Friday Five: August 10, 2018

Check out these five stories from across Montana that highlight entrepreneurship, the high tech sector, and everything else that makes Montana great!

Terry Badlands

1. Missoula Tech Company Hones Business Plan at Accelerator

During the last week of July, seven startups from across Montana convened in Bozeman for the inaugural HyperAccelerator program hosted by Early Stage MT.

The companies included Elation, WebBuy, Superior Traffic Services, Elebase, Alosant, Sellout, and CardSetter. After participating in the HyperAccelerator, these companies will present at the Early Stage MT statewide showcase for an opportunity to win an investment up to $50,000. The companies will be judged by panels of successful entrepreneurs and members of the regional investing community from the Western U.S.

“The HpyerAccelerator is a program we’ve borrowed from our good friends at Rockies Venture Club in Denver to help companies get a jump-start on some of the key elements to building strong plans and working effectively with investors,” said Pat LaPointe, managing director of Frontier Angels, in a Missoula Current story. “We’ll continue offering this program in the future and augment it with even more mentorship initiatives statewide.”

Click here to read the Missoula Current story and click here to read a story from the Montana High Tech Business Alliance.

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Telecommuting Tuesday: Lisa Haas

Lisa Haas

Lisa Haas

Happy Telecommuting Tuesday!

Are you looking for the flexibility to work from home and live in Montana? Or are you looking to change careers or to pivot in your current career? Have you considered telecommuting?

According to a study released in 2017 by the Montana Telecommunications Association, Montana ranks No. 1 in the country in telecommuting. Telecommuting offers former Montanans the ability to make Montana home again and is a career opportunity for residents in the Treasure State’s small towns.

Read what Lisa Haas had to say about telecommuting in Montana:

My husband grew up in Choteau, Montana and had always wanted to leave his high-pressure technology career in Denver to return to his roots and family’s outfitting business, A Lazy H Outfitters. We moved to Choteau in 2015 when our sons were 10 and 8 years old.

One of the best things about living here, is that we are raising our children in a small, tight-knit community. My son once told us his favorite things about living here are, “The freedom…and no traffic.” What he meant about freedom, was that we spend a lot of time outdoors, whether it’s hiking or camping, swimming in rivers and ponds, or taking care of our many animals.

When we first moved here, I was a healthcare consultant, and could work anywhere. Recently, I began working remotely with the healthcare division of a large professional services company based in New Jersey. With today’s global economy, I will often work with teams of people from all over the world.

At first it surprised me that people in places like India had heard of Montana, but nearly all the world knows about Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. I like to tell people, “I see elk every day!” (My neighbors run an elk farm.)

The biggest challenge of working remotely is the isolation, but I find that having frequent calls or Skype chats with coworkers helps. I can get a lot done because I don’t have many interruptions or distractions.

In this economy where companies are having difficulty finding people with the right skills or experience, remote work is a good solution. I hope more organizations begin adopting a remote workforce because it benefits everyone.

To submit your own 300 to 500-word telecommuting story, email Alexandria@MontanaChamber.com.

Friday Five: August 2, 2018

Check out these five stories from across Montana that highlight entrepreneurship, the high tech sector, and everything else that makes Montana great!

woman by creek in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

1. ATG introduces Big Brothers Big Sisters Kids to Programming

Last Saturday, children with Missoula’s Big Brothers Big Sisters programming dipped their toes into the world of computer programming thanks to Advanced Technology Group (ATG) in Missoula.

During a summer camp, kids learned about the basics of programming using a program called Scratch. This program allows users to create characters to interact with their surroundings, objects, or other characters. The visual language can be connected in blocks, telling characters or objects to move, make sound, display text in a speech bubble, and a variety of other options.

Each pair of students created their own animations with aid from ATG employees.

Click here to learn more from the Missoula Current.

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