|MATR Newsletter - Fri Apr 22, 2005|
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MATR on Vacation for the week of 4/22-5/2 --- After updating MATR for 4 years on a daily basis, I'm finally going to go on a trip where there are no communications, net or semblance of civilization.....no, I'm not going to Washington D.C.... I may get intermittent connectivity but I can't plan on it. In the interest of trying to keep up with the increasingly active Montana economy, please feel free to send any pertinent articles to firstname.lastname@example.org. Either the good folks at http://Modwest.com will post the articles or I will if I get the chance. Thank you for your support and interest in the future of Montana. I'll be back in May so stay tuned. We've got some new stuff planned for MATR. Best, Russ
Come Home Montana
Developing a more Entrepreneurial Montana
- Featured "Come Home Montana" Community~FORSYTH
* The graduation rate is 97% with an average graduation GPA pf 3.0.
- Montana-Jobs.net Featured Career ~ Associate Quality Assurance / Software Test Engineer
- Montana-Jobs.net Featured Talent - Executive Management
- MATR on Vacation for the week of 4/22-5/2
- The Montana Council on Economic Education offers scholarships to teachers interested in economics workshop, June 20-22
The three-day workshop is designed to enhance the skills of teachers of social studies, business, math, consumer and family science and other teaching disciplines.
- Staying Out of the Way of Entrepreneurs by William Poole President, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Given the entrepreneurial energy we have in the United States, active policies are of relatively limited importance. The focus has been and should continue to be on ensuring that we have the proper passive policies in place to allow our entrepreneurial spirit to thrive. Entrepreneurship cannot be planned or managed centrally. Rather, we should have in place basic institutions to facilitate business transactions, along with minimal interference in the actual operation of businesses. In writing our regulations, we should carefully weigh the costs and benefits while keeping in mind that excessive interference can squash or misdirect our greatest advantage.
- University of Montana Entrepreneur class to launch this summer
For all those students who want to open a business but never had the necessary business classes, finally, there is a solution.
- Early College High School Initiative Gains Momentum with 46 Schools
The Initiative is a $120 million project designed to integrate grades 9-14 by providing students with dual enrollment opportunities- a chance to earn two years of college credit before finishing high school.
- Improving Productivity in Higher Education
The subject of productivity in higher education is one that has long interested me. I do not pretend to be an education productivity expert, but rather an observer of the scene who cannot help applying the economist’s view of the world to the provision of education services.
- President Geoff Gamble vows to take MSU to new level
"It's time to take the university to a new level,"
- Montana Tech named among ‘best value' colleges
"We have known ourselves for some time that Montana Tech is an exceptional value. It is great to get the national recognition for all the hard-work contributed by the faculty, staff and students," said Susan Patton, vice chancellor for academic affairs at Montana Tech.
Montana Economic Development
- Made in Montana show no-go for now
"It's a real shame," especially for stores that want to carry Montana products, she said.
- Work of Missoula artist adorns HuHot franchises around the country
"It is such an essential part of the image," said Vap. "It's like a McDonald's and its arches. When you think of the franchise, it sticks with it. They know the dragon is in every HuHot."
- Missoula investors to buy plant for biodiesel oil - Sustainable Systems
"Agriculture is the backbone of our economy," he said. "It is re-emerging as part of our national security.
- Two-wheel treasures Bike racer-turned-mechanic builds business in barn - Red Barn Bicycles of Hamilton, MT
"You get into the business because of the fun and passion, but nobody tells you how to make a dollar," DeVall said. "Working for them taught me the business end of it. But I learned that I have a preference for the mom-and-pop-sized shop."
- Have you heard? Wheat Montana ventures knead no help
Things could be worse. His biggest worry about striking out as a business owner hasn't come true: high-staff turnover among his 40 to 50 employees in both cities. "I love my staff. They're great. We've been really lucky," Riggs says.
Developing Funding Opportunities in Montana
- New jobs, new excitement blow into Wheatland County
The $150 million project, recently approved by the Montana Public Service Commission, is expected to produce 7 percent of the power used by Northwestern Energy Co.’s Montana customers.
- SBA Montana District Office April Newsline
- Mother Lode goes high-tech as it adds videoconferencing, wireless Internet and other technology to the theater.
"You're not going to attract (conferences) if you just have speakers and tables," said Ray Rask, chief executive officer of Advanced Wireless Technologies, which donated videoconferencing, wireless Internet and other technology to the theater.
- Why Montana Is Turning Blue The rowdy, red state of legend has changed.
Ragged former cow towns like Bozeman are turning into suburbanized high-tech meccas for Ph.D.s who like to go rafting and snowboarding. These immigrants have brought with them an exotic culture of dining spots that feature formal wine lists, bookstores that sell titles besides the Bible, sports that don't center on the killing of animals and taverns whose air is as clean and clear as the expensive vodka in their martinis.
- Angels today fill the role of venture capitalists
Until recently, there was no structure assisting these private investors. Entrepreneurs had difficulty finding angels. Angels had difficulty finding good companies.
- Act will entice investors who invest in Montana companies with tax credits
Congratulations to all who worked on getting this legislation enacted.
- Rural development gets a boost - $750,000 for the Missoula-based Montana Community Development Corp.
The money will be loaned through the USDA Rural Development Intermediary Re-lending Program. The aim of the loan funds is to finance businesses and community development projects in rural areas.
- Federal Reserve Seminar Focuses On Small Business Finance
The report confirms the importance of finance companies as the second most important institutional supplier of credit to small business borrowers, particularly for vehicle loans, equipment loans, and lease financing.
- Finding Profits in the GPS Economy
"Demand for these services could easily double in the next few years,"
Funding and Building your Business
- Sirna's move clouds Colorado's biotech scene
Sirna announced it was moving its headquarters to San Francisco because it needed to be closer to investment bankers, venture capitalists and buy-side analysts.
- SBA Solutions April '05 Edition
- Complying With the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines Are you open and accessible for business?
It is therefore worth some time to make sure your business is not an ADA liability.
- Don't limit options in quest for capital
Many entrepreneurs finance businesses themselves, but this route has some pitfalls.
- The story behind tech's idea capitalist - She handpicks innovative technology to showcase at Demo Show
``What I'm looking for are fresh ideas that stimulate the markets, create new markets, change markets, add competition, all of these change-agent kind of criteria,'' she said.
- Execution is vital for small business
It may not be an investor's lack of belief in the idea, but a fundamental concern about the ability of the company and its team to execute the plan. In the world of retailing, many professionals believe that it's all about "location, location and location." Likewise, when starting a business it often comes down to "execution, execution and execution."
- A investor guide to spotting entrepreneurs on steroids
There ought to be a law against misleading investors.
- 'Angels' rush in, not afraid to finance small firms
Entrepreneurs had difficulty finding angels. Angels had difficulty finding good companies. That's when the Kauffman Foundation and a group of individual angel investors stepped in.
- Recommended Reading: Books for Brainstorming - Need inspiration, ideas or just nuts-and-bolts instructions on how to start a business?
Try these books for small-business brainstorming
- Brown Bag Seminar Series on Business Legal Issues offered by the Billings Small Business Development Center beginning April 27
- Create a Workplace Policy for Religion
As religion makes its place in the workplace, it is important to consider the forces behind this increase, which include the continuing globalization of business, shifting patterns of immigration, increasing cultural diversity and a renewed spiritual awakening in some segments of the population.
- Small group networking among entrepreneurial peers
t goes without saying that I would recommend peer groups for all entrepreneurs looking for support in building a business. In considering whether to join, it's important to understand that being a member is more about giving than it is receiving. If you aren't prepared to share useful suggestions from your own experience, then peer networks aren't for you.
- Private Placements Growing in Popularity
"Venture capital is still a sound option for many companies," Siegel said. "But private placements dilute outside influence among several investors, and they require very little money, relatively speaking, to get going. So they fit smaller, closely held companies very well."
- Crafting Your Mission Statement
If you do it right, the mission statement has the power to transform your business. Boldness has genius and magic and power in it.
Regional Economic Development
- NPS Pharmaceuticals: new milestone, new digs SLC company: It opens the doors of its headquarters at U.'s research park
- Software startup TeleSym calls it quits
"We purposely did not try to run this into the wall," said Hart, who joined the company last summer. "We did not want to leave creditors hanging. We wanted to shut down in a professional fashion."
- WGI investor lawsuit settled $39 million to go to people who lost out in 2001
The settlement clears the way for thousands of former Washington Group investors to get back some of the money they lost when WGI's stock was declared worthless as part of the bankruptcy settlement in 2002.
- Firms find it pays to go green - Three Utah companies are setting the standard
"We're sending the message to business: Compliance with environmental regulation is expected, going beyond compliance is worthy of recognition," says Dianne Nielson, director of the Department of Environmental Quality.
- Lander, WY company gets 'Webby' nomination http://www.yellowstonepark.com
More than 4,000 Web sites were entered for all the categories, and Johnson learned she was a finalist Tuesday.
- Idaho and Montana tax burdens low
Idaho, which is 47th in the percentage of income paid in local and state taxes, is one of only a dozen states the Tax Foundation credits with paying its taxes by April 9. Montana, 35th, is another. Washington is seventh highest, with a total of 30.1 percent going to taxes in spite of having no income tax.
- Inc. magazine says Boise #2, Casper #3, Missoula #8 for business
The magazine's editors said this year's rankings reflect "the continued flight of business from higher-priced urban areas and former new-economy high-flyers like Boston, Austin and San Francisco."
- Software company Fast Enterprises picks metro Denver for new HQ over 36 other cities
Fast Enterprises http://www.fastenterprises.com/ , a private company with offices in Boise, Idaho; Baton Rouge, La.; Helena, Mont.; and Victoria, British Columbia, picked Denver over 36 other cities.
- It’s show time for Blue Water - Coeur d’Alene company to open plant soon to exhibit its phosphate-removal technology
Blue Water’s technology, which it licenses from the University of Idaho, where it was discovered, uses a process in which phosphorus is removed from waste water by filtering the water through chemically enhanced sand.
University Business Plan Competitions
- It's the Guys' Turn Northwest Men in Business created
"It brings more people together for the good of the community," Tuttle said. "Giving back to the community, that's our mission."
- Which Metro Areas Have The Best Public Education Systems? Spokane and Boise rated high in small metro category.
In an era of social promotion and graduation, the quality of public schools is a major concern to companies that will soon be looking to these young adults as future employees.
- Is the CDBG Program America's Worst Urban Initiative? Is the Bush administration right to put the community-development block grant out of its misery?
The end cannot come soon enough.
- Birthplace of ideas - Fort Collins, CO tops SBA list of hot spots for entrepreneurs - Colorado No. 1 in entrepreneurship
The state can point to plenty of examples. A trio of Colorado State University professors, for instance, developed new technology to track cattle by scanning the animals' retinas. A startup outfit, Optibrand, was born at CSU in Fort Collins several years ago and was built around the scientists' software.
- Idaho spreads word on tax breaks - Governor signs bills designed to draw businesses
Commerce and Labor spokesman Dwight Johnson said he's working on a list to target the Idaho businesses that most likely could use the new breaks, and officials are targeting out-of-state corporations, too.
- 2030 forecast: Mostly gray...including Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota
Florida, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wyoming, North Dakota, Delaware, New Mexico, Montana, Maine and West Virginia will have fewer children than elderly.
Incubators and R&D
- Drug-delivery patch wins at UW business-plan competition
G. Steven Burrill himself jetted in from France on the spur of the moment for what he said was only the second Burrill competition he's personally attended. The globe-trotting businessman, a 1966 graduate of the UW-Madison School of Business, heard each team's plan and gave out some advice the night before the presentation and judging. He said one of the competition's strengths is bringing together engineering and other disciplines with business. "If you just did it with the business school, you'd fail," he said.
- UM advertising team to compete for $10 million Yahoo campaign
UM has competed in the program since 1992. That year, UM won the competition, which was sponsored by Visa, with the “It’s everywhere you want to be” tagline.
- UM students from American Indian Business Leaders chapter split top prize for business plan at leadership conference
“American Indians have always been known as great leaders,” said Larry Gianchetta, dean of the business school and adviser to UM’s AIBL chapter. “They’re trying to do it so it’s culturally appropriate. They realize the key to becoming a sovereign nation is to build a strong economy.”
Montana Education/Business Partnerships
- MSU prof part of project to detect gravity waves
It's a coup for Montana State University, too, because other members of the NASA group come from the big leagues in space exploration and cosmology, including the Goddard Space Flight Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Cal Tech and Stanford University.
- Yellowstone National Park thermal pool yields microbes hiding in rock
And, surprisingly, researchers found a new kind of bacteria living in the rocks that's associated with those that cause human illnesses like tuberculosis and leprosy.
- UM professor works to find ‘Achilles heel’ of HIV
While the research at UM, which is funded by a yearly grant of $130,000 from the National Institutes of Health, is only basic science, Lodmell hopes some of his research will be useful for an anti-viral strategy, he said.
Business Plan Forums
- Portable technology - Science teacher John Graves wins Toyota grant to provide Palm Pilots for his students
Graves' proposal to use Palm Pilots for field work earned him one of the 50 Toyota Tapestry grants awarded nationwide. The grant program recognizes science teachers who develop innovative programs in environmental or physical science, or who come up with a way to use science to improve reading and writing skills. "Our hope is to inspire the minds early and hope that's something that will be a catalyst for lifetime science learning," Richlynn Kaiser, a spokeswoman for Toyota.
- UM builds ties with Ireland Cross-continental relations subject of conference
The Montana-Ireland Conference hosted by the University of Montana next week could be a turning point in an expanding relationship between Irish and Americans, said David Emmons, UM history professor emeritus.
The Creative and Cultural Economy
- 30 Companies From 13 States Present at 2005 InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum
'It's gratifying that the entrepreneurial community recognizes that InvestMidwest provides them a great platform to reach investors in search of good opportunities,' said Chris Walsh, Executive Director of InvestMidwest.
- Western author K Follis Cheatham's "Dog Days to Horse Culture" will be offered thhrough the Montana Committee for the Humanities through 2006.
- The Montana Dinosaur Trail Web Portal is now live!
- The Art of Economic Development - Community Colleges for Creative Economies
Many community colleges are unassumingly becoming places students and communities do look to for leisuretime, creative, and cultural activities, and they are becoming institutions of choice for qualifying for creative, and growing, occupations and industries.
- Entertainment, Education and Business Professionals Create MAPS, "Media Arts in the Public Schools" in Montana
BREAKING NEWS: The University of Montana @ Great Falls has invited MAPS to host a two-day, summer seminar for High School and Middle School students of the area. The scheduled dates are August 8 & 9.
- Adventure Cycling of Missoula Hits Milestone - 200,000th membership, Reports Strong Growth
On April 8 its data-entry staff processed the 200,000th membership received by the association in its 30-year history.
Connectivity & Communications
- Utility thinks small to save Puget Sound seeks steps to improve energy efficiency
Bellevue-based Puget Sound Energy, an electricity and natural gas utility, is currently conducting 12 pilot energy-efficiency projects with residential, business and industrial customers.
- Alternative fuel gains steam in Montana
Similar efforts have been successful elsewhere in Montana. Sustainable Systems, founded in 2001 by a group of Missoula growers, scientists and business people, got started by recovering the used frying oil from the University of Montana campus.
Space and Zero Gravity Research
- NewWest brings a much needed professional networking venue to Colorado
Three years in Colorado and I have not -- until this week -- seen even a glimmer of this same excitement, the opportunity to socialize and share ideas (and, often, grow partnerships or consulting relationships) with smart, engaged, people.
- Wireless Internet access about to go extra 5 miles
WiMax is essentially high-powered Wi-Fi, the kind of wireless Internet now common in coffee shops. Wi-Fi's range is much shorter, usually enough to cover only one or two buildings. A single WiMax antenna can beam high-speed Internet to entire neighborhoods.
Lewis and Clark Bicentennial
- Way Way Out A Montana-built satellite was delivered to California this week
"It's a major first for Montana," Klumpar said. "Our primary goal is to bring space hardware development projects to Montana. In particular, we're devoted to involving undergraduate and graduate students at MSU in that process."
- Flying Cars And NASA's 'Highway In The Sky' NASA's "Highway in the Sky" system will let millions fly using personal flying machines being developed by inventors.
And here’s the good news -- a lot of people are building machines you’ll be able to buy.
- Lewis and Clark's Montana trail
Moving up the Bitterroot Valley to a place they called "Travellers rest" at present day Lolo, the corps turned west again, crossing Lolo Pass into Idaho. They eventually found their way to the Pacific Ocean.
- Montana to receive $1.5 million Lewis and Clark grants
City Club Missoula
- North Dakota. to test regional charter air service available to cities in Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska and Minnesota
"The business plan works on paper," he said. "Now we need to fly it to prove it will fly. We're excited because we think it can work."
Cool Stuff That's Coming
- City Club Missoula Information
This is your chance to particiapte in the future of Missoula.
- Inventing the Wheel in Milltown City Club Missoula discusses the Milltown remediation and dam removal project.
"This is a big project which we’ve never really done before at this scale. So it is a big, complicated project."
- Just One Word: Corn -- What would Mrs. Robinson think?
If plastics was once the future, corn is now the future of plastics.
- New Sensors Detect Speech Without Sound
Cell phone fanatics take note: New, non-acoustic sensor technology means that one day, you won't have to shout into your phone to be heard over nearby noise.
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