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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.

2. Benefits of Living in Rural Montana

While Montana’s largest cities like Bozeman and Missoula are normally in the spotlight, the Treasure State is filled with smaller towns that offer an equally high quality of life. Recently, Cut Bank resident Wade Johnson wrote a column for the Pioneer Press about how the community stepped up in a time of need.

Many of Montana’s towns, large or small, have a golf course. After the Fourth of July weekend, the Cut Bank Golf and Country Club water tank failed. In his column, Johnson chronicles how this small community on the Hi-Line rallied together.

To read more from Johnson, click here.

3. More Art Instillations Cropping Up in Downtown Billings

While Missoula was recently recognized nationally for its art vibrancy, Billings is putting forth its own efforts to encourage the arts.

The Big Sky Economic Development and Downtown Billings Alliance are working together to put more art into public places. This year, the Big Sky Economic Development is funding six creative peacemaking projects.

Click here to read and see some of the art going up around Billings.

4. Telecommuting in Montana

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 here what Dave Goodman, a software engineer working remotely for a non-profit in Kansas, had to say about telecommuting from near Frenchtown.

5. Blackstone LaunchPad Discusses Missoula’s Startup Soul

Who do you think of when someone says entrepreneur? Steve Jobs? Oprah Winfrey? Elon Musk? Mark Zuckerberg?

These are certainly the kind of folks Wall Street and the media like to lionize for changing the world on a massive scale. But these entrepreneurs and their businesses can perhaps seem at odds with the Montana way of life, especially in light of recent controversies at corporations like Facebook.

All of this raises the question of what a Montana entrepreneur and a Montana startup might look like. What kind of startup activity is achievable AND desirable in Montana?

Click here to read more from Paul Gladen at Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Montana.

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