|MATR Newsletter - Fri Sep 14, 2007|
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“Mentor: Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight”
One of the biggest challenges for an entrepreneur is finding a great mentor and developing a great advisory board ("Startups and Advisory Board Members" http://matr.net/articl ... .html )-- that can help them through the maze of new business success. ("Inside Entrepreneurship: Temper flaws with help from mentors" http://matr.net/articl ... .html ) -- I've talked with many new companies in the region over the years and a common theme has been a lack of understanding of how important it is to have access to those who have already gone through the process and know the pitfalls and how to avoid them. ("Why you need a Mentor." http://matr.net/articl ... .html ) -- Montana has a wealth of creative people as well as an even larger group of retired or semi-retired successful business and professional people. ("Former CEOs Are Seeking Challenging Second Acts" http://matr.net/articl ... .html )-- The missing element is a way for them to easily connect. I'd like to offer an attempt to provide a clearing house to try and help bring them together. If you're an entrepreneur (non-profits included) who'd like to see if there's a mentor out there for you or you'd like to be involved with a venture, please send some basic info and I'll try to do some matchmaking. Not all introductions will work but if you do your homework, you'll know whether a successful relationship is possible early on. If you're interested, please send me: name, phone, e-mail, brief statement of experience and professional focus. If you're an entrepreneur, please send along your executive summary as well as the areas where you're looking for guidance. If you're a mentor, please let me know where you think you could be most valuable and what you'd like to accomplish through a relationship with an entrepreneur/company. Don't know if this is going to work but I've had enough inquiries to warrant an attempt. I've had a few folks register but if I do see a good response, I'll investigate the possibility of formalizing this and developing a better, perhaps automated, process. Thanks, Russ@matr.net
Come Home Washington
Developing Tech Jobs in Rural Communities
- Washington State Career Opportunities - 3 vacancies for a Research Center Specialist -SBDC in Bellingham
Each specialist will assist statewide Small Business Development Center (SBDC) clients in starting, stabilizing, or growing their businesses by conducting accurate and professional secondary market research and financial analysis, as assigned by the assistant director of the Research Center.
- Washington State Career Opportunity - Executive Director - Kitsap Economic Development Alliance
The Executive Director is a community leader working on existing business expansion and new business recruitment by creating a hospitable business climate and ensuring public support for economic development.
- Washington State Career Opportunity - Harvesting Clean Energy Program Manager, Olympia, Washington
Climate Solutions now seeks an outgoing, energetic, self-motivated and outcome-oriented individual to serve as Program Manager for our Harvesting Clean Energy Program.
Funding and Building your Business
- As commutes begin earlier, new daily routines emerge
This "commuting creep" is changing the lives of tens of millions of Americans. Increasingly early commutes also are altering workers' relationships with their families.
- Kentucky Gov. Bredesen fighting for rural growth
One of Bredesen's initiatives is a new $13.25 million Rural Opportunity Fund, capitalized partly by the state and mostly by private financial institutions. The fund, which he previewed for Shelby County business leaders last month, will lend money mostly to existing small businesses in rural counties that have demonstrated their viability but need venture capital to grow.
- Double Whammy Rural Counties Lose Population Two Ways
USDA demographer Calvin Beale shows the parts of rural America losing population through outmigration, as people leave, and as deaths overtake births. In nearly 500 counties, population is dropping for both reasons.
- 5 tips to score venture capital funding
Straight from the source, venture capitalists dish about what just what kind of entrepreneurs they want to fund.
- Former CEOs Are Seeking Challenging Second Acts
They want to keep learning by taking on new challenges.
- Smaller companies feel the number crunch. Tight market pulls good workers away
"The market that you are drawing from is smaller and smaller. You have less choices," she said. "It becomes difficult for small businesses to compete at the same level. It has a lot to do with what they can afford. They have less revenue. They don't have as much to work with. They can't put together a benefits package."
- Contentious Debate Looms Over Small Business Venture Capital
In the parlance of venture capitalists, it's known as the "valley of death," a place that small technology companies fear.
Montana Meth Project
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Highlighted by NGA, NASA
"Strong skills in math and science are critical both to our children's future and to Alabama's ability to compete. Many of the fastest growing industries, such as aerospace and bio-tech, require highly skilled workers with solid abilities in math and science," said Alabama Gov. Bob Riley.
- Seven States Share $92M from National Math and Science Initiative
The grants will be used for extensive training of teachers, identification of lead teachers, additional "time on task" for students, and financial incentives based on academic results.
- The Montana Higher Education Student Assistance Foundation and the Montana Student Assistance Foundation Respond to Congressional Action on Student Loans
“After that Oct. 1 deadline, FFELP student loan lenders won’t be able to afford to offer borrower benefits at the level they did prior to Congress’s passage last week of the Budget Reconciliation Act,”
Connectivity & Communications
- Montana Meth Project ads against meth go national
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy began the campaign last week in eight states where meth use and treatment admission rates are high: Alaska, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Oregon and Washington.
Cool Stuff That's Coming
- Schwarzenegger Signs Ban on Teen Cell Phone Use While Driving
"The simple fact is that teenage drivers are more easily distracted. They are young, inexperienced and have a slower reaction time. We want to eliminate any extra distractions so they can focus on paying attention to the road and being good drivers."
- Wiring rural America
The rural communities of Kentucky are wiring up, and a statewide effort to convince rural residents of the benefits of internet access expects nearly 98% of the state to have internet access by the end of the year.
- Municipal Wi-Fi thrives – on a small scale
Over the summer, plans fell through on a number of major municipal Wi-Fi projects in major American cities, such as Chicago and Houston. But these networks are thriving in smaller communities around the country.
Incubators and R&D
- Is Xcerion a Microsoft and Google killer?
Among the investors in the Linkoping, Sweden startup, which also maintains a small office in Seattle, are former Microsoft chief financial officer John Connors.
The Creative and Cultural Economy
- Intel lab pushes 'ubiquitous computing'
Researcher offer a peek at projects designed to bring technologies into everyday life
- Denver measures its business 'creativity'
The Western States Arts Federation conducted the study and found that Denver fared well against Portland but fell far behind Seattle, the two other cities that participated.
Montana Economic Development
- “Stem Cell Research: Daring To Dream” Dr. Irving Weissman, 9/18, Hamilton, MT
Weissman is considered one of the world's foremost experts in the fields of immunology, developmental biology and stem cells.
Regional Economic Development
- SBA Seeking Nomination for Montana's Top Small Business Owners and Advocates
Any individual or organization such as professional and trade associations, business organizations, chambers of commerce, banks or employees of a small business, can submit nominations.
- Main Street Montana Fall Edition Highlights Fergus County
"We've heard from employers feeling the workforce pinch of Montana's record low unemployment rate," said Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly. "In this edition, we expose the public to the multitude of job skills and training opportunities inmates have available to reenter Montana's workforce, upon release, as contributing and productive citizens."
- Developers: With or without Great Falls, coal-fired power plant moves ahead
"If (Great Falls) doesn't get it all together, we're just going to move forward," said Tim Gregori, general manager for Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative.
- Missoula closer to getting $7 million for defense projects
Part of the latest defense appropriations bill cleared by the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday, the funds were announced by Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester.
- Butte TIFID Board puts approval of funding for a 8,000-square-foot, $920,000 building for ammo company, A-Square, Inc. on hold.
Kentucky-based A-Square, which plans to manufacture high-end bullets for safari and large game hunts, was the subject of scrutiny last week after comments posted on The Montana Standard’s Web site, as well as an anonymous letter sent to the board, raised concerns about A-Square’s background, prompting officials to perform more due diligence.
- Montana Web Designers & Developers Association September Newsletter
Superhero Tech Needed to Complete Initial Startup DB Dev.
Utah Economic Development
- Earmark Gone, Indian Project Is One-Winged
A half-finished project meant to lure investment to Indian reservations shows how earmarks can go bad.
- Northwest Area Foundation Great Strides Award. Up to $100,000 available to communities that excel in reducing poverty.
The Foundation will select up to four communities from its eight-state region: MN, IA, ND, SD, MT, ID, WA, and OR. Each award recipient will receive up to $100,000.
- Rural Development: 'You Just Can't Get There One County At a Time'
Rural communities that remain isolated will suffer in today’s economy, economist Mark Drabenstott told a meeting of rural Texans on Friday. Rural Americans will prosper when they learn to “get beyond the petty jealousies of Friday night football.”
- 2007-2008 CFED State Assets and Opportunities Scorecard. Montana Receives an "A". How well is your state doing?
Montana's performance in Education, Homeownership, and Business Development drives a strong showing in the 2007-2008 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard.
Oregon Economic Development
- Leaders in Utah Investment Community Support 2008 Expansion to Utah Fund of Funds Program
“Were it not for their capital contributions and guidance, many Utah entrepreneurial companies would not have the opportunity to create so many high-quality jobs.”
- University of Utah setting tech world on fire. 17 companies emerge from school research
For its part, the university receives licensing royalties, which in 2006 totaled $17.5 million.
Washington State Business
- Greenlight Greater Portland gears up
Portland is trying to align its economic development strategies around sustainability. So, not surprisiingly, a privately-led recruitment effort is focused on a handful of clusters: renewable energy, green-building technology, recycling technology and environmental practices sectors.
- Next new thing: innovation zone?
Modeled on Research Triangle Park, home to more than 39,000 full-time high-tech jobs in North Carolina, an innovation zone in Southwest Washington would bring together entrepreneurs, academic researchers, big businesses and government support.
- The National Governors Association (NGA) Officially Launches Chair's Initiative: Securing a Clean Energy Future
Initiative First Bipartisan, Governor-Led, National Effort to Promote Clean Energy Policies Across the States
- Montana pension returns improve, but still short of nearby states
The pension system received about 18 percent return on investments made by the Montana Board of Investments, which has revamped its strategy over the past couple years in the wake of losses that helped lead to a projected billion-dollar pension deficit.
Montana Education/Business Partnerships
- Honey-rich diet may keep you young
"Diets sweetened with honey may be beneficial in decreasing anxiety and improving memory during ageing."
- University towns offer riches that go beyond economics - Western Montana InBusiness
"University towns always stand out. ... In a modern economy, the presence of a university is increasingly important." Larry Swanson, the economist-director of UM's Center for the Rocky Mountain West
Making the Most of the American Prairie
- Job Seekers: Put Your Web Savvy to Work
Whether seeking career advancement or scrambling in response to job cuts like those hitting the mortgage industry, many workers are hunting for new jobs.
- How to Master the Subtle Art Of Self-Promotion on the Job
Here are five ways to highlight your achievements without making yourself look like a braggart or a buffoon.
Montana Education Excellence
- American Prairie Foundation September Newsletter
Thus far in 2007 we have had more than 200 children visit the American Prairie Reserve from surrounding towns and around the country. Our hope is to steadily increase the numbers of youth visiting the Reserve annually and to become a meaningful force to help kids reconnect with nature.
- Student Assistance Foundation Helps Montanans “Get Smart” With New Web Site
“Our new site provides Montana families with one-stop shopping for college information,” said Kelly Chapman, executive vice president of Foundation Activities for SAF.
- University of Montana Conference to Explore U.S. Relationship with China 9/19-20
Kelly will deliver the keynote address, "Is There a China Threat?" Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the University Center North Ballroom. A senior diplomat, Kelly served as assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2001 to 2005 and is now president of EAP Associates in Honolulu.
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