Friday Five: January 4, 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.

Flathead River near Polson

1. Analysis: Montana High-Tech Industry on Pace for Record Year

According to the Montana High Tech Business Alliance, the high-tech industry has never been strong.

In an article from the Missoulian, the High Tech Business Alliance points to three instances that happened last year. The first was a global Internet technology company, called Cognizant, acquiring ATG in Missoula. The second instance was when onX maps closed on $20.3 million venture capital funding round. Finally, ClassPass boosted Missoula’s economy by hiring over 100 workers.

Click here to read more.

2. Under Cognizant, ATG of Missoula sees Big Year in 2019, “Aggressive” Job Growth

2018 was an exciting year for ATG in Missoula.

First, the company hired its 100th employee. In May, the company announced it was moving to the Old Sawmill District and continue to grow its office. Finally, in September the company was acquired by Cognizant. Cognizant plans to add 25,000 new employees to the U.S. over the next five years.

“We’re really going to be ramping up our hiring,” said Tom Stergios, the senior vice president of strategy and corporate development for ATG. “We’ll be coming up with a specific number in January. It’s going to be aggressive for sure.”

Click here to read more on this story in the Missoula Current.

3. Montana Made: 5518 Designs in Butte

5518 Designs is based in uptown Butte. It’s a graphic design company that designs clothing and other products.

John Wick moved to Montana to become a teacher. While in the Treasure State he met his wife and briefly moved to Asia. After doing some volunteer design work for a local mountain bike race, Wick decided to start his business.

“You know on those applications it says, name: Jon Wick, Business name: and I go ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t even think about what I was going to call this,’” said Wick in a KBZK article. “It’s just an adventure, so I got back from a mountain bike ride earlier in the day and my GPS was sitting right next to my keypad in my extra bedroom where I was doing all my work – elevation 5518, so that’s how we got that name.”

Click here to read more and watch a video about 5518 Designs.

4. Telecommuting from Paradise: Lara Birkes

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.

One of Montana’s most recent telecommuters is Lara Birkes in Paradise, Montana. You can click here to read more about her telecommuting adventures.

5. Wild, Scenic and Miniature Work of Art

As the U.S. Postal Service releases its 2019 Forever Stamps collection, a familiar river will be featured to help commemorate the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System: Flathead River.

The Flathead River stamp features a photo taken by Tim Palmer. According to the Flathead Beacon story, the photo shows the burnished bottom stones that animate the river stocked trout fishing and scenic floating. The other eight featured rivers are the Merced River in California, the Owyhee River in Oregon, the Koyukuk River in Alaska, the Niobrara River in South Dakota and Nebraska, the Missouri River in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, the Deschutes River in Oregon, the Tlikakila River in Alaska, and the Clarion River in Pennsylvania.

Click here to see images of the stamps.

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