Montana Community

Friday Five: May 24, 2019

Check out these five stories from across Montana that highlight entrepreneurs and other great events going on in Montana!

Little girl kayaking on Whitefish Lake

1. Figure Technologies in Helena Luring Engineers to Montana

A Helena startup company is attracting attention in the high tech world as it continues to draw eyes to Montana.

Figure Technologies was founded by Mike Cagney, a former co-founder and CEO of SoFi. Figure is focused on home equity. According to the Helena Independent Record, the company sells products that allow customers quick, low-cost access to the equity in their homes. The company’s success is due to its use of blockchain technology, which is a growing list of information that is linked using cryptography.

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Crafting the Perfect Wader: The Simms Fishing Products Story

K.C. Walsh, Simms Fishing Products

K.C. Walsh, Simms Fishing Products

K.C. Walsh became a die-hard fly fisherman at 9-years old. As an adult, he began looking to acquire a company in the Rocky Mountain West. Specifically, he wanted to make Montana home.

“The reason I wanted to live in Montana was pretty simple,” he said. “When I was 12 years old, I came up here with my grandfather on a fishing trip on the Bitterroot River. It was one of the best experiences of my youth, and after that trip I wanted to live in Montana someday.”

Walsh’s wishes came true when in 1993 he acquired a fly fishing manufacturing company called Simms Fishing Products.

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Friday Five: April 12, 2019

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

Fly Fishing in Avalanche Lake

1.  How to Build an Investor Pipeline and Raise a Seed Round— a Step-by-Step Guide

In 2016, Montana startups were able to attract $45.7 million in capital in 2016. But do you know how to attract the right investors to raise money to make your dream come true? Fletcher Richman is here to help you out.

Over the past four years, Richman has been involved in 90-plus Seed rounds. Recently, he helped raise a $2.6 million Seed round for Halp which was led by Matchstick Ventures with partnership from Next Frontier Capital, a Bozeman-based company.

Check out his list of seven tips on how to start your investor pipeline and raise a Seed round to take your dreams out of the garage today. Click here to read more.

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Friday Five: April 5, 2019

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

1. iResponse Receives American Indian Business of the Year Award

On Monday, a Rocky Boy business that helps tribes preserve and protect tribal lands received a national award.

iResponse was awarded the American Business of the Year Award from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, an American Indian business and economic development organization.  The award was presented Monday during the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s Reservation Economic Success. According to CEO Alvin Windy Boy, Sr., iResponse is an online resource tribal communities can use to identify historic and sacred lands to prevent them being damaged or destroyed by construction.

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Friday Five: March 29, 2019

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

Saint Mary Lake

Saint Mary Lake, Glacier NP

1. Outdoor Tourism and Marketing Technology Company, TOMIS, Looks to Expand Services, Hirings in Missoula

After spending several years in Silicon Valley learning about the high tech world, Evan Tipton returned to Missoula to found TOMIS (Tour Operator Marketing Intelligence Software). From the beginning, TOMIS has taken off and the company was named a High Growth Company to watch by the Montana High Tech Business Alliance. Now, it’s looking to continue its upward momentum in 2019.

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Q + A: Birch & Bay

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, and every business plays a critical role in keeping Montana’s towns vibrant. The Treasure State consistently ranks among the top five in reports from the Kauffman Foundation in rates of business ownership and business sustainability.

In our Q and A series, we’ll introduce you to some of Montana’s brightest and best entrepreneurs from all corners of the state. These businesses are involved in a variety of industries including hospitality, retail, and food.

Join us we meet M’Liss Bordelon in Billings!

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Friday Five: March 22, 2019

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

Snow Buntings in Rocky Mountains

Snow Buntings outside Three Forks, MT

 

1. 5 Things to Try at Great Falls’ New Vietnamese Restaurant Pho Vi Tai

Recently, a couple in Great Falls opened a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Vi Tai, named after their son.  The result is located at 3212 10th Ave. South, east of Super 1 Foods. Carol Tran and Don Pham, the owners, have been in Great Falls for four months. In an article from the Great Falls Tribune, the couple said they saw possibility in Great Falls.

So what were five dishes the restaurant recommends? Click here to find out!

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Friday Five: March 8, 2019

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

Montana Dinner Yurt, Big Sky

1. Montana’s First Indoor Ax-throwing Business Set to Open

If you’re looking for a unique activity to do in Missoula, consider checking out the Lumberjaxe Throwing Co., an ax-throwing business set to open in March. The company is owned by Gentry and Megan Branz and their business partner, Steve Chasner. The business is located on Toole Avenue beneath the Toole Crossing apartments.

The business will have nine 14- and 15-food throwing lanes open to people and groups by the hour. Each lane is surrounded by chain link fencing for safety. Last spring, the couple built an ax-throwing trailer, which was a popular attraction.

To learn more about the Lumberjaxe Throwing Co., click here to read the full story.

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Q + A: Valerie Manne Design

Valerie Manne of Valerie Manne Design

Valerie Manne of Valerie Manne Design

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, and every business plays a critical role in keeping Montana’s towns vibrant. The Treasure State consistently ranks among the top five in reports from the Kauffman Foundation in rates of business ownership and business sustainability.

In our Q and A series, we’ll introduce you to some of Montana’s brightest and best entrepreneurs from all corners of the state. These businesses are involved in a variety of industries including hospitality, retail, and food.

Join us we meet Valerie Manne in the Mining City!

Valerie Manne Design

1. What is the name of your business?

Valerie Manne Design

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Mapping the Future: Blackmore Lidar Sensors Makes Name in Photonics Industry

X5 Test Vehicle 3 - Blackmore Lidar Sensors

X5 Test Vehicle 3 – Blackmore Lidar Sensors

In 2012, a report from Regional Technology Strategies identified a quickly growing cluster of optics and photonics companies and research institutions in Montana. According to this report, the cluster of more than 25 organizations were the highest per capita concentration of optics and photonics companies and research institutions in Montana. Many of these organizations are located in Bozeman, thanks to a strong program at Montana State University.

As the photonics industry in Bozeman grows, one of the companies making headlines recently is Blackmore Lidar Sensors.

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