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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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Friday Five: March 1, 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!

Belton Chalet, West Glacier

1. Carroll College Hosts ‘Shark Tank’ Competition

This year, Caroll College’s business program partnered with Silicon Valley’s longest-serving CEO, Ray Zinn, to host a  ZinnStarter program in Helena. The program will award up to $1,000 to three or four teams of student entrepreneurs for product prototype and business plan development.

Students will present their projects in the popular “shark tank” style presentation in front of a nine-person, all-student, board of directors.

Click here to watch a news video from KTVH.

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Early Stage MT – Accelerating Montana’s Tech Sector Growth

Early Stage MT – Pat LaPointe

Pat LaPointe

Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest piece by Pat LaPointe, the Managing Director of Frontier Angels and acting Chairman of Early Stage Montana.

As Montanans, we’re blessed with the natural resources that have allowed us to build a strong economy on extraction industries, agriculture, and tourism. But we’re experiencing a few formidable challenges. Extraction and agriculture have globalized, driving down profits and shedding jobs in the process. And growth in tourism, while great for the local hotels, restaurants, etc., tends to create jobs that pay below-average or seasonal wages.

Fortunately, Montana ranks in the top five states in the nation for entrepreneurism with the highest rates of new company formations and business longevity1. Unfortunately, new businesses in Montana are actually less likely to scale in size, hire 20 or more people, or hold patents or other intellectual property2. In other words, we’re great at creating small services businesses, but not as effective at creating larger businesses with technology roots to employ hundreds or thousands of Montanans with training, benefits, and above-average paychecks.

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Friday Five: February 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!
Red Ants Pants Festival, White Sulphur Springs

1. Small business brings opportunity to communities, entrepreneur says

Recently one of Montana’s best known entrepreneurs, Sarah Calhoun of Red Ants Pants in White Sulphur Springs, was the keynote speaker at the Salt Lake Chamber of  Commerce’s Small Business Summit.

Red Ants Pants is a company headquartered 76 miles east of the state capitol. The company manufacturers pants and other clothing items for women who work in outdoor occupations that require more durable clothing. Calhoun said she wanted to create a pant that would fit, function, and flatter working women.

“The potential of small business is really what we should be thinking about (including) in rural areas, not just in urban areas,” Calhoun said in a Desert News article. “They are the backbones of our communities.”

You can read more Calhoun’s insights here.

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Q + A: Wild Roots Therapy

Erica Schuppe, Wild Roots Therapy

Erica Schuppe, Wild Roots Therapy

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 travel out east to meet Erica Schuppe!

1. What is the name of your business?

Wild Roots Therapy, PC

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Friday Five: January 25, 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!

B Bar Ranch in Tom Miner Basin, Yellowstone Country

B Bar Ranch in Tom Miner Basin, Yellowstone Country

1. The Beer Barter is Back

After a five year hiatus, the Beer Barter is returning to the Whitefish Winter Carnival on Feb. 2.

The goal of the Beer Barter is to offer the best barter for beer, whether that’s an object or a talent. The winner of the event gets 52 cases of beer, which they can pick up at once or once a week from the Great Northern Brewing Company. The first event was held in 2000 and included appearances from former Gov. Brian Schweitzer showing up with a dairy cow.

Following the barter, Great Northern Brewing will celebrate its 24th anniversary.

For more information abut the Beer Barter, click here.

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Q + A: Montana Dress Co. and Cactus Threads

Barbara Wells, owner/operator of Cactus Threads and Montana Dress Co.

Barbara Wells, owner/operator of Cactus Threads and Montana Dress Co.

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 in 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 travel out east to Billings to meet Barbara Wells!

1. What is the name of your business?

Montana Dress Co. and Cactus Threads

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Q + A: OMG! Mongolian Grill

OMG Mongolian Grill in Butte, Montana

OMG Mongolian Grill in Butte

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 in 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 travel to the Mining City and meet Tom Cronnelly!

1. What is the name of your business?

OMG! Mongolian Grill

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Friday Five: January 11, 2018

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

Great Northern Brewing Company, Whitefish

1. Montana Ranked 2nd in the Nation for Number of Craft Breweries

According to a recent study by C + R Research, Montana is ranked second nationwide when it comes to the number of breweries, with about 9.6 per capita. The research was done by using data from the Montana Brewers Association.

In a story from the Missoula Current, the executive director of the Montana Brewers Association said the state’s breweries have doubled from 2012 to 2018, to about 80 now. And Montana is the nation’s second-leading producer of malt.

“Not only does that mean that visitors come to our state, it also means that our industry can attract some of the best,” said Matt Leow, the Montana Brewers Association executive director in the online article. “We can attract great brewers from elsewhere because they want to live in Montana and join this great quality of life as well, and I think that also contributes to the quality of beer that we’re producing here.”

Click here to read the full story from the Missoula Current.

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