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Friday Five: August 31, 2018

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

grain elevator near loma montana

Grain Elevator near Loma, MT

1. Why Montana Is an Incubator for Fast-Growing Tech Companies

In a Montana Public Radio interview, Christina Henderson (the executive director of the Montana High Tech Business Alliance) chatted about what enticed so many companies to start or relocate in Montana. She also spoke about how the alliance plans to continue helping start-ups and other businesses.

Click here to listen and learn about the new Montana tech boom, how technology has changed company culture, and the broad variety of jobs the tech industry has to offer.

2. Harlowton Brewery Supports Hobson Grain Elevators

Breweries have popped up across Montana, and Harlowton is no exception as Gally’s Brewery opened last December. Recently, Gally’s stepped up to help the Hobson community with a specialty beer.

The Grain Elevators in Hobson have been threatened with demolition because of their deteriorating condition. The Pride of the Judith is working to save the elevators to bring the elevators up to code so they can stay standing. The group approached Galley’s Brewery, and Galley’s jumped on board by creating an Amber Ale called “The Pride of The Judith.” One dollar from every pint will go toward efforts to restore the elevators.

You can watch a video here to learn more about these friendly eastern Montana neighbors.

3. Verizon Business Ranks Missoula Among Top 10 Small  U.S. Cities to Start a Business

This week, Verizon Business named Missoula one of the top 10 small U.S. cities to start a business. Missoula ranks third on the list behind Portland, Maine, and Weston, FL. Also included on the list is Bismarck at 10th and Rapid City at 9th.

Missoula was the only Montana town ranked. The ranking reviewed data from 300 U.S. cities with a population between 50,000 and 75,000 people. Factors included education, commute time, and access to broadband.

Click here to read more.

4. From Farm to Table: The Wheat Montana Legacy

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. Click here to read more about Wheat Montana’s story.

5. American Airlines in Missoula Prompts Upgrades, Competition from Other Carriers

This past spring, Missoula welcomed American Airlines to the city’s expanding air service. According to an article from the “Missoula Current,” this expansion with American Airlines has paid off.

“United came into our market with mainline aircraft to Denver, so they boosted our capacity, just on United, by 39 percent from the time American started service in early June,” said Brian Ellestad, the airport’s deputy director in the Missoula Current article. “Not only did they start mainline service to Denver, they also extended San Francisco later into the fall.”

The article also states that as August winds down, the airport expects to cross the 400,000 mark for the first time in its history. The airport reached the 200,000 mark in 1998 and hit 300,000 passengers in 2012. Recently, the airport announced that it will break ground on a new passenger terminal in January.

Click here to read more.

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