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Friday Five: September 27, 2019

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

Pheasant hunting, Central Montana

1. Flathead Neuroscience Researchers Awarded $1.4M Grant

This week a Flathead neuroscience company received a $1.4 million Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Health.

Expesicor was awarded this grant for its “cutting edge research on treating and preventing neurological disorders and traumatic brain injuries,” according to the Daily Interlake. The company will receive $343,042 over the first year of the grant and upon approval will receive the rest of the grant over three years. Two Bear Capital, a venture capital firm based in Whitefish, also made an investment in the company.

“We’ve been able to actually make some substantial progress for therapies toward neurological disorders that we’re not aware anybody else has been able to do,” said Braxton Norwood, a co-founder and CEO.

Click here to read more about this exciting company in the Flathead.

2. ‘Can Do:’ Headframe Spirits Unearths New Opportunities in Butte

In 2010, John and Courtney McKee founded Headframe Spirits in Butte. Each spirit is named after a mine claim in Butte. Since 2010, the distillery has grown into a popular hotspot in Butte.

In addition to the distillery, Headframe Spirits also manufacturers stills and distilling equipment. Headframe Spirits Manufacturing is currently the only company in the world to produce continuous flow distillation equipment for the micro-distilling industry, according to Montana Public Radio.

To listen to Can Do: Lessons from Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs with John and Courtney, click here.

3. Western Town Built to Serve as Movie Set; Producer Wants Livingston to Be ‘the New Hollywood’

One group of local filmmakers are working to make Livingston the Hollywood of the North.

Ponderosa Films and Soundcolor Studios recently built a medieval village in the Paradise Valley to serve as the setting for a “Braveheart” sequel. According to the Livingston Enterprise, Soundcolor Studios is working on constructing a 28-building old western town south of Chico Hot Springs. The town will provide space for gunfights, working buildings, and a church.

“It’s an ‘if you build it, they will come’ situation, we hope,” said Carter Boehm with Ponderosa Films. “The more it morphed, the more we kept asking, ‘Why don’t we build an actual town?’”

Click here to read more.

4. State’s First E-Scooter Company Says First Season Was Successful

With summer nights fading away, Blink Rides is wrapping up its first successful season in Bozeman.

Lana Kitto is the owner of the state’s first electric scooter business company in Bozeman. In Bozeman, Kitto had more than 3,000 active users renting scooters. The renters rode over 12, 00 miles since the launch in late spring.

Click here to learn more about this new way to get around Bozeman.

5. Photos: Last Chance Community Pow Wow Celebrates Native Culture through Dance

The Last Chance Community Pow Wow is in Helena this weekend. Youth dancers gave a demonstration to Helena-area elementary students Friday at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds. Check out the photos from the Helena Independent Record here!

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