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.

2. Libby Is Montana’s ‘Most Charming Small Town’

According to Reader’s Digest, Libby is Montana’s most charming small town.

The paragraph highlighting the town in northwest Montana praises its stellar views of the Cabinet Mountains and its proximity to outdoor recreation, and calls out Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company and The Black Board Bistro as two businesses to visit. Local economic developers said in a Western News article the recognition is a reaffirmation of and a potential boost to existing efforts to attract people and business to the town.

“This is fabulous marketing exposure, even more significant as this list was limited to one community per state,” Tina Oliphant, executive director of Kootenai River Development Council and Lincoln County Port Authority, said by email in an article for the Western News. “Libby was compared to some nationally known, community downtowns that subscribe to a serious effort to accentuate and build on the charm of their natural surroundings. Our question in front of the City is how to bring that charm into our downtown. Can you imagine the possibilities?”

To read more about Libby’s accolades, click here.

3. Polson Cherry Juice Company Branches Out

The Flathead is known for its pristine cherries, and one company that specializes in cherry juice is starting to branch out.

Tabletree Montana, a company that moved from Canda to Polson, sold 52,000 small bottles last year. Now that the product has grown in popularity, some franchise grocery store chains like Costco plan to pick up larger sized bottles. Currently their production is seasonal, but the company plans to branch out into apple or pear juice that can be produced in the winter months.

To watch a short video about Tabletree Montana, click here.

4. Montana Mex Spices Up Local Grocery Stories

A Montana spice company that began in the Treasure State is now coming back home.

Montana Mex, a company that began in Bozeman and went nationwide,  has expanded its products to local stores in addition to online and national sales. The company was founded by chef Eduardo Garcia, Christopher Jane, and Jennifer Jane. Now, Montana Mex will be in all Town and Country locations in Bozeman, Belgrade, and Livingston.

To learn more more about Montana Mex, click here.

5. Shakespeare in the Parks Brings “Love’s Labour’s Lost’ to Deer Lodge, Anaconda

Since 1973, the Shakespeare in the Parks has brought free, professional productions of Shakespeare and other classics to mostly rural and underserved communities. All performances are offered at no cost in local parks and public spaces.

This year, the company is presenting Shakespeare’s Othello for the first time in the Montana Shakespeare’s in the Parks 46 years. The second show is Love’s Labour’s Lost.

For more information, click here and click here.

Read more Friday Five articles.

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