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Helena Businesses Shine in Montana Startups Program

Dana Holzer, lead designer at Montana Bones. (Photo by Alexandria Klapmeier)

Dana Holzer, lead designer at Montana Bones (Photo by Alexandria Klapmeier)

Scott Bouma grew up in Lincoln, and his wife, Rayna, grew up in New Zealand. The two met, got married, and knew they eventually wanted to move back to Montana. Three years ago, they opened their coffee roasting company, Caffeic, in Helena.

“I love Helena because it’s a great community,” Rayna said. “We’ve gotten to know so many great people. It’s small enough that you can really feel like you belong and you see people in different places and you’re like, ‘Hey, I know you!’ I really enjoy that community aspect of it. We have four kiddos, and it’s a great place to raise kids. We’ve lived in another town in Montana, but we decided Helena is an awesome place to raise a family.”

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Blackstone LaunchPad Discusses the Montana’s Startup Soul

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by Paul Gladen, Director at Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Montana.

Paul Gladen, Director at Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Montana

Paul Gladen, Director at Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Montana

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?

To begin to answer these questions let me tell you about some of Montana’s latest cohort of emerging entrepreneurs: Jenny Sheets, Ari Ronick, and Sara Boughner.

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Friday Five: July 20, 2018

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

kids and bikes

Kids and Bikes

1. Montana Top Tech Employers 2018

Do you want to work for a high tech company in Montana, but don’t know where to start? This week, the Montana High Tech Business Alliance released its list of Montana’s Top Tech Employers for 2018 in the state.

According to the Montana High Tech Business Alliance, Montana’s tech firms expect to add more than 1,200 new jobs in 2018. Companies fit two or more of the following criteria: 20 employees or more, plans to grow workforce in Montana, established in the state for more than 10 years, consistently hiring, and involved in the community.

Click here to find out who Montana’s top tech employers.

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Montanans Turn to Telecommuting for Flexibility, Work Balance

Lizzy Duffy telecommuting from home in Helena for a company based in Portland, Ore.

Lizzy Duffy works from home in Helena for a company based in Portland, Ore.

Lizzy Duffy moved back to Montana for love.

After her then-boyfriend (and now fiancé) expressed an interest in moving to Helena to be closer to his family, Duffy knew she wanted to make the move as well. As the duo prepared to move from Portland, Ore., Duffy didn’t have a job waiting in Montana. When she told her company, Sparkloft Media, that she was moving to Montana, Duffy didn’t ask if she could telecommute for work.

“I thought there was no reason for me to work out of Helena, Mont. as far as the office expanding,” Duffy said. “But my company prioritizes people’s personal lives as much as their work. A happy employee makes for better work.”

When Duffy moved to Montana in May, she found herself as part of the new, growing workforce of telecommuters in Big Sky Country.

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