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.

2. Yurts, Lodges, and Untouched Powder Meet in Montana’s Backcountry

While there are many different fun winter activities offered in Montana, one that is growing in popularity is backcountry trips that consist of stays in yurts and lodges.

One backcountry trip offered is through the Great Northern Powder Guides near Olney. These guides offer cat skiing in the Whitefish Mountain Range where there are more than 20,000 acres of backcountry skiing. Great Northern Powder Guides teamed up with Dog Creek Lodge to offer onsite lodging and dining for overnight guests.

Another popular option is YurtSki, located in the Swan Mountains. Visitors must get to the yurts by ski or riding a snowmobile.

To learn more about these fun adventures, click here.

3. 2019 Best Tech Startups in Montana

The Tech Tribune staff compiled a list of the best tech startups in Montana. In doing research, they considered several factors that included but were not limited to: revenue potential, leadership team, brand/product traction, competitive landscape. All companies also had to be independent, privately owned, at most 10 years old, and have received one round of funding in order to apply.

Who do you think made No. 1? Find out here!

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

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.

Click here to learn more about Blackmore!

5.  Q + A: 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.

Click here to meet Valerie Manne in the Mining City!

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