|MATR Newsletter - Tue Oct 3, 2006|
Web hosting provided by:
Add an event...
"Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision."--Peter F. Drucker
Hope to see you at this very important conference: "Montana Early Childhood Business Summit, 10/4, Missoula" http://www.matr.net/ev ... =1642
2006 Montana Elections
Developing a more Entrepreneurial Montana
- What, us worry? Paper trails key to Montana elections success
“If I were a Montana voter, I’d feel proud to be doing things the way you are…just think of all the states who are doing worse,” says Douglas Jones, a national expert on voting technology at the University of Iowa. That said, there’s always room for improvement, and some in the state are looking toward steps to further narrow the gap through which election error or fraud might slip.
Developing Tech Jobs in Rural Communities
- Wisconsin is promoting the development of investors and entrepreneurs clubs with help from the State of Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network, (WEN), with financial support from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, offers Wisconsin communities seed money to help form their own Inventor and Entrepreneurs Club
- Teens earn $40,000 salary from podcast hosting site
"This is the American dream," Weina says. "Start the company with zero dollars and end up with a $40,000 salary. I think I'll take that." Experts say there is a growing number of teenage entrepreneurs like Weina, and most dive into the online business world. But because of their inexperience with promoting themselves, their stories are rarely heard.
Montana Education Excellence
- Entrepreneurs settling in small towns
"The thing about technology is you can do it from anywhere,"
- Traffic, housing costs force commuters to alter routines
In sprawling, congested areas, many people get to work by 7 a.m., the data show. Some may work early shifts, but �the general motivation for people leaving early is avoiding congestion,� says Phillip Salopek, a Census Bureau analyst. �As congestion worsens, the peak travel hour of the morning spreads.�
- Fifteen Montana teachers presented with $3,000 stipends for earning their national board certification.
The teachers had to complete a series of portfolio and assessment exercises over a six- to nine-month period to receive the certification. It is the highest achievement an American teacher can earn.
- Talk-radio teaching. Armed with computer, mic, Montana Tech professor, David Hobbs reaches out with podcasts
Hobbs is using computers, audio and video programs and old-fashioned imagination to produce more ways to communicate and engage his freshman chemistry students in the subject. He is also using a language — technology —- that they understand better than many older adults.
- Montana Early Childhood Business Summit, 10/4, Missoula - Child care touted as economic tool
Child care has benefits much further reaching than simply the parents of the child. Businesses benefit because parents are more productive when they know their children are cared for and safe. Child care could also be a selling point to attract young, skilled workers to the region. And children also benefit because research shows they perform better in school when they have received quality care during the first six years.
- Helping Teens Get Good Grades in Money Management: A How-To Guide from the FDIC
For teens, saving money may not be as much fun as spending it, but putting dollars aside for their future and learning how to be smart consumers are still important things to do.
- Turf battle between MSU and Montana Tech is nano-sized
Gamble told the regents it seems that both he and George Dennison, president of the University of Montana, with which the Butte campus is affiliated, had "not provided effective enough leadership" to solve the problem. The underlying reason, Gamble said, is "a lack of trust between the campuses."
- New teachers are often unprepared, study says
‘‘The findings are sobering, and we take them seriously,’’ said Sharon Robinson, president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, which represents 800 schools. She said Levine’s motives are true and his ‘‘tough love’’ findings have credibility.
- 36 colleges team up to recruit. New website lists over 3,000 job openings
``The fact that places like Stanford, Princeton . . . have joined consortiums speaks to the fact that this is a problem for higher education right now, and everyone is trying to address it," she said.
- Groups aspire to higher education in Bitterroot valley. Board of Regents discusses two preliminary plans for community college or U of M branch; encourages joint efforts
University of Montana officials recently announced they want to put a branch campus of the UM College of Technology in Ravalli County.
Montana Economic Development
- Atlanta-based company, Acadia, buys Kids Behavioral Health, Butte treatment center
"We are excited to be part of these communities," Laughlin said in a news release. "Our commitment is to provide hope and guidance to youth and their families in a supportive and nurturing environment."
- Finding its niche - Big Sky Commerce of Missoula, MT signs with national giant MobileVision to allow merchants with cellular network to use wireless payment technology
Davis recently inked a deal with national wireless giant MobileVision Inc. to make his Missoula-based company a preferred provider for wireless payment processing technology that allows businesses and merchants to conduct payment transactions from any location within their cellular networks.
- Dept. of Development - DirecTV call center in Missoula “Move over Bangalore”
For Baucus, the project is just the start of something bigger. “Move over Bangalore,” Baucus said, invoking the South Asian city famous for reeling in outsourced call centers. “Missoula’s going to be the next call center of the world.”
Developing Funding Opportunities in Montana
- Montana Marketplace - Tools For Business Workshop & Trade Show Preparation Session, 10/9, Great Falls, MT
This day-long workshop is offered to Montana entrepreneurs and is tailored especially to those considering participation in the 2007 Made in Montana Marketplace in March.
- Win Your Own Montana Mountain
One lucky winner, five friends and nobody else carving up the nicely tilted terrain at, Showdown, Montana for 2 days and 3 nights. We’ll even throw in airfare, lodging and gourmet meals, as well as a shred-ready clothing system compliments of The North Face.
- MEDA Online News for October
The October edition of MEDA Online News is ready for your reading pleasure at http://www.medamembers.org/medanews.html Meet the new staff at Beartooth RC&D, review training opportunities and catch up on MEDA news.
- Helena-to-Great Falls rails-to-trails hopefuls ready to spring into action
Grove and Monger said the trail would be an economic boost to not only the Queen and Electric cities, but also smaller communities along the route, large portions of which parallel the Missouri River.
- Controversy brewing over Montana’s involvement in WWAMI program
‘‘The cost to build a medical school is obscene,’’ Gibson said. ‘‘And if we were to build our own medical school, we would break up the (WWAMI) partnership. In reality, we send our students to one of the top five medical schools in the country.’’
- Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer announces agreement to build coal-to-liquid fuel plant
"We have targeted this kind of growth opportunity because it takes advantage of our strength in coal and builds the economy in areas of the state which have suffered economic hard times for decades," Schweitzer said in a release.
- New Hi-Line Bio-diesel plant looks to camelina- "Greater Montana Bio Energies"
The crop is ideal for the Havre area, according to Greater Montana Bio Energies project manager Clancy Eldredge. “It’s just a question of getting the farmers used to dealing with it,” he said.
- SBA will transfer manager to Billings
Klaman will work out of the Big Sky Economic Development Authority office to help make more small business and disaster loans through local banks. "Small Business companies make up 90 percent of private enterprise in Montana and are the key to economic development," said Joe McClure, executive director of the Big Sky EDA.
Funding and Building your Business
- Venture capitalists grapple with diminished returns
Mr. Ferri says he and his partners at Matrix, an early backer of Apple Computer, considered closing their Waltham, Mass., firm a few years ago because the industry's future looked so bleak. "I thought by now investors would have figured out that our industry is not an economically viable business model," he says.
- 10 Ways to Think about Innovation. What successful young technologists know
Each year, we choose the 35 innovators under the age of 35 whose new technologies seem most gloriously creative and most likely to expand human life. (Here are the 2006 winners.)
- New Podcasts from Levensohn Venture Partners - "Six Early Warning Signs of Trouble in the VC Board Room" and (2) "Creativity Meets Reality - Understanding the Completeness of your Idea."
It's not enough to just have a good idea. In order to be successful, an entrepreneur must think through all aspects of their vision to determine if a real business can be developed. Having been involved with several successful companies and product launches, Neil will walk us through how to to grapple with "the flushing out" of a great idea.
- Vet mentors cure brain drain. Businesses want young recruits without losing the talent on their payroll. Enter the mentor.
''In our industry, it takes someone coming out of college about two years to absorb everything,'' says Loughry, managing partner for Integra Realty Resources. To achieve his desired staff productivity results, Loughry hired two veteran workers whose primary duty is to mentor young employees.
- For small businesses, planning and creativity could be antidote to a slowdown
A mixture of foresight, creativity and adherence to good business practices can help a company mitigate the damage from a slowing of their sales or profits. Perhaps the most important thing owners can do is maintain good relationships with customers.
- The paperless physician. Doctor's business strategies earn him an entrepreneur award
This streamlined, paperless environment was part of Dr. Joel Montbriand's vision when he started the practice in 1994. To accomplish his objective of high-quality care with more time devoted to patients than paperwork, he knew he needed not just innovative medical practices, but innovative business practices as well.
- New Book from U of M Professor Emeritus, William Wilmot, Offers Five-Step Guide to Innovation Process “Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want”
For the last six years, Wilmot has worked with Curtis Carlson, president and CEO of SRI International. SRI is the company that pioneered the computer mouse, speech-recognition systems and many other successful innovations – new or improved products or services – such as hypertext, robotic surgery and high-definition television.
Regional Economic Development
- The October issue of the Montana legislative branch newsletter
This month's newsletter covers, among other things, the final meetings of several interim committees, including recommendations and committee-sponsored bills.
- Child care touted as economic tool
The report concludes that child care has benefits much further reaching than simply the parents of the child. Businesses benefit because parents are more productive when they know their children are cared for and safe. Child care could also be a selling point to attract young, skilled workers to the region. And children also benefit because research shows they perform better in school when they have received quality care during the first six years.
- Rural Counties Experiencing Higher Employment Growth Than Urban Counties
Regions must build the infrastructure needed to create and support rural entrepreneurs.
- Blue Water Technologies, Inc of Hayden, Idaho Acquires Texas Filter Company, Applied Process Technology Inc.
This acquisition provides Blue Water with many years of experience with high performance wastewater treatment solutions and proven system installations.
- Idaho inventor's automatic clutch becomes business success. Rekluse Motor Sports
To start the company Youngwerth, 41, invested $50,000 of his own savings and opened a $100,000 small-business line of credit. He also opted not to take a salary for two years to keep the company growing. But the tactic worked: Four years after opening, his Boise company is profitable, selling more than 13,000 clutches for $400 to $700 each. This year the company employs 23 people and is expected to bring in more than $2 million in revenue.
- "We Don’t Make Widgets" Overcoming the Myths That Keep Government from Radically Improving
Written for middle- and senior-level managers in state, city and county government, We Don’t Make Widgets: Overcoming the Myths That Keep Government from Radically Improving explodes the myths that prevent dramatic improvement in government operations.
Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)
- Virginia Unveils Economic Development Strategic Plan
It is built around nine broad goals, each of which contains a series of distinct, measurable strategies that track progress in achieving the goals by 2010, including: * Ensuring broadband access for every Virginia business. * Increasing procurement for small businesses to 40 percent of state purchases. * Decreasing government transaction time for businesses by 30 percent.
- "Hometown Economies", a new television series spotlights six cities and towns in Maine as they implement strategies leading to longer-term economic vibrancy.
Each community has been working to define and implement strategies leading to longer-term economic vibrancy. Their stories, lessons learned, successes and continuing challenges are of importance to Maine and especially to the communities that we each call home.
Universities and Economic Development
- Netflix offers $1 million prize for better movie recommendations
To win Netflix's prize, a software program must improve upon the DVD service's current movie-recommendation system by at least 10%. The differences will be tracked by a program that quantifies how well the recommendation systems predict which movies will be liked or disliked by a profiled consumer.
- Lobbying pays off for Montana universities. UM, MSU rake in nearly $200 million in federal earmarks
It's a system in which taxpayer supported universities hire lobbyists who make enough to donate generously to those in power, and those elected leaders then help secure generous sums of taxpayer money earmarked for those universities.
- For educated workers, things are looking up. Jobless rate for the group falls to 1.8%, and wages are rising
While college-educated workers in many industries are in demand, better technology and improved production continue to make it hard for employees who lack degrees to find decent jobs. And even some with college degrees are being locked out because they are in fields where demand is low.
- Missoula Housing Group, homeWORD Wins National Planning Award
“We are honored to be given the PLACEMATTERS award,” said Program Manager Betsy Hands. “homeWORD has worked for more than 10 years in Missoula to promote the importance of involving neighbors in the design of affordable housing and foster a sense of place that respects the uniqueness of each neighborhood. This award demonstrates a growing commitment to affordable housing that fits into a neighborhood and is a part of the sustainable development of a community.”
- Bozeman-Based Project WET International Foundation and United Nations Launch Joint Water Education Initiative
“By coordinating the water education efforts of these two world organizations, we are increasing the number of area students, teachers, parents, and communities reached with water education. This is critical because water-borne illnesses are one of the leading causes of death in the developing world,” said Justin Howe, Project WET’s Director of Networks for Latin America and the Caribbean. However, Howe also noted, “Many of these deaths can be prevented through education.”
Connectivity & Communications
- California Enacts America's First Cap On Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The new law, the first of its kind in the nation, could lead to a dizzying array of changes in industry and elsewhere that will be seen in cities, on farms and on freeways.
- My Big Biofuels Bet - Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla
Challenges certainly exist with ethanol, but none are insurmountable, and – with apologies to Al Gore – the convenient truth is that corn ethanol is a crucial first step toward kicking our oil addiction.
- Phone firms can get California statewide franchise for TV. Cable competition opens as governor signs legislation
When the legislation becomes law on Jan. 1, companies such as AT&T and Verizon will be able to compete against cable TV providers such as Comcast and Time Warner.
- Accessibility computes. Research shows software features for disabled help all
These realizations sparked an overhaul of how the world's largest software maker deals with disability access technologies, changes that will appear in the next generation of the company's flagship programs. Rival Apple Computer Inc. is also planning to upgrade the accessibility of its upcoming operating system for Macs.
- 2006 Montana League of Cities and Towns annual conference in West Yellowstone this week
"They can't believe how many people have registered," she noted. "There are 17 people coming from Troy, Montana, alone. . . Troy, Montana!"
- "Walkable" expert speaks in Bozeman
Shrink street widths. Increase parking. Add bike lanes and sidewalks.
- MSU Leadership Institute Presents A Lecture By Nobel Peace Prize Winner David Trimble, 10/15, MSU, Bozeman, MT
Nobel Peace Prize Winner David Trimble will speak on "Transforming Religious Conflict into a Lasting Peace"
To subscribe or unsubscribe from the free weekly MATR newsletter, please visit our list info page