|MATR Newsletter - Tue Dec 22, 2009|
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“This is something that will be undertaken by the entire community, because it’s about the whole community. Keeping kids in school isn’t just the responsibility of schools and teachers and parents. It’s about the larger community, and that’s why we’re reaching out.” MCPS Superintendent Alex Apostle http://matr.net/articl ... .html
Education is a key element of any successful economic development movement - "Missoula County Public Schools - Plan in works to keep kids in school - Pilot projects to improve education in community" http://www.matr.net/ar ... .html --- "Fewer high school students taking computer science classes - Help Reform Computer Science Education (And Win a Trip To Australia!)" http://www.matr.net/ar ... .html --- "The nation’s economy is going to need more cool nerds" http://www.matr.net/ar ... .html
Glacier Raft and Outdoor Center
- Bill Payne - Due Diligence Pays Off for Angels in Groups
Are we angels better served spending substantial time with entrepreneurs before investing or should we simply to throw darts at a list of deals to pick companies in which we invest?
- Friends, family are key sources for startup capital
Just who are these “friends and family” investors?
- Some Angel Groups are Beginning to Use Standardized Term Sheets
I have been looking for a simpler version – a high-quality angel term sheet template for a preferred stock transaction.
Missoula Public Schools Excellence
- Glacier Outdoor Center Blog - Opening Day!
With all this new snow in the Flathead Valley, we have been busy grooming and prepping the Winter Trail System at Glacier Outdoor Center. Today, it’s official- We are open for the 09/10 Winter Season!
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
- Missoula County Public Schools - Plan in works to keep kids in school - Pilot projects to improve education in community
“This is something that will be undertaken by the entire community, because it’s about the whole community. Keeping kids in school isn’t just the responsibility of schools and teachers and parents. It’s about the larger community, and that’s why we’re reaching out.” Alex Apostle
Missoula Children's Theatre
- Stormtroopers Suffer Crushing Defeat in the English Court - Star Wars Copyright Decision Serves as a Reminder to the Creative Industries
The case demonstrates the considerable limitations of copyright as the basis for protection of works of applied art such as toys, props, fictional characters, costumes, merchandising goods, decorative art articles and many other examples of mass produced, functional or semi-functional designs, and the importance of registering designs and trademarks.
Come Home Montana
- Missoula Community Theatre invites laid-off Smurfit workers to free showing of "Sunshine Boys"
“What we can do for them is do what MCT does,” said CEO Jim Caron. “Which is, frankly, to cheer them up.”
Warren Miller Freedom Foundation
- Happiest States Revealed by New Research - Montana is #7
"In other words, all anyone has been able to do is to report the averages state-by-state, and the problem with doing that is you're not comparing apples with apples because the people who live in New York City are nothing like the individuals living in Montana."
- More than 130 Montana applicants statewide seek historical preservation grants
arlier this year, the program was tucked into House Bill 645 by the Montana Legislature, allowing the state to direct federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to historic preservation.
- Dr. Darrel Stock anxious to be back home in Montana practicing family medicine in small town setting
Dr. Darrel Stock loves the fact that he’s back in Montana, practicing medicine and working in a fun-filled, professional environment at Northern Rockies Medical Center.
Developing a more Entrepreneurial Montana
- Young Montana entrepreneurs
Fifth-grade students from each of the school's six classes created a business, made and then sold products during the annual Trade Fair. The project incorporates lots of math skills, as well as teaches students about business, profits and losses and loans, said veteran teacher Marge Suek.
- Small Business Survival Index 2009 Ranks State Policy Climates for Entrepreneurship
The ‘Small Business Survival Index’ helps business owners and investors understand the public policy burdens placed on entrepreneurship and small business, with the states ranked accordingly.”
- Job creation? Look to entrepreneurs
A schmooze-fest is nice, but the hard work of putting America back to work will be done by entrepreneurs, not the leaders of the biggest companies in the nation and the heads of big unions.
Montana Economic Development
- Community Forum - Governor Brian Schweitzer: The Impact Of The Smurfit Closing, 12/22, Missoula
The Governor will discuss the impact of the closing of Smurfit Stone on the State and will focus on assessing opportunities, challenges and strategies for the future. We will hear from several companies in the area about their plans now and in the future and take public comment on what they see regarding priorities for moving our economy forward.
- Senate approves $2.8M for Missoula high-tech firm, TerraEchos, and $1.6M for St. Patrick Hospital
"These dollars will create good-paying jobs in Missoula while investing in cutting-edge research that will make our troops and our country safer," said Tester.
- Pikuni Industries on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, awarded $3.2 million for research and development.
"We thank Senators Tester and Baucus and welcome this help for our economy," said Willie Sharp Jr., chairman of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council. "This investment will create jobs and training, and will give our people a chance at a brighter economic future."
- Helena, Montana firms, Western Computer Services and American Chemet awarded $2.4MM and $800K respectively for research and development activities
A pair of Helena area firms stand to benefit from new government contracts after the Senate on Saturday approved the Defense Appropriations Act.
- Defense bill earmarks $55 million for Montana projects
“It’s some exciting news for us,” said Rob Bargatze, a founder and chief scientific officer of Ligocyte. The federal money is like an early Christmas gift, he said. “Very much so. It allows us to move full speed ahead.”
- Montana will probably see economic recovery in 2010
“We’re not dropping anymore. It looks like we’re slowly on the mend. It appears the recession is over.”
Regional Economic Development
- Prospera Business Network welcomes new director, Stuart R. Leidner
“His leadership in business, management and economic development has been effectively established in both small and large businesses around the country.”
- Civic Center a community treasure
Who knows what lies ahead, but the recent trend for the Civic Center — a vital component of economic development — is encouraging. Shows increasingly draw people from throughout southwest Montana, and big shows mean full hotels and restaurants. Nearly 30 percent of ticket sales are made online, and staff members continue to cultivate that broader audience.
- Despite Stiff Opposition, Montana Land Board Approves Vast Coal Development
"It's time for us to be visionary," she argued. "There is also value in keeping Montana as Montana." Superintendent Carol Juneau
- State tax credits uses debated
States need to do a better job determining what defines a ‘good’ tax credit.
- DOE awards WGA $12 million to assist states examine best options for new transmission
The U.S. Department of Energy today awarded the Western Governors' Association $12 million to assist the 11 states within the Western Interconnection in planning for new transmission while considering such factors as future demand, a diverse mix of resources, environmental concerns and greater energy efficiency.
- Coordination Critical to Meeting West's Future Electricity Needs
"Western governors recognize that we do not have time to waste, and we are prepared to move ahead with needed transmission development," Schweitzer said. "We look forward to partnering with the federal government in making it happen."
- Rural Collaborative Investment Program - Cluster Development in Rural America
Congressional approval of an adequately funded clusters effort is critical because the nation’s economic recovery and longer-term revitalization hinge on restoring the economic health of its regions, metropolitan and rural.
- Mountain West Trade Mission to Mexico – Feb 22-25
Mexico is the second largest market in the world for U.S. exports. Given the magnitude of trade between the United States and Mexico, there are abundant opportunities for U.S. firms in Mexico.
Developing Funding Opportunities in Montana
- With Scant Jobs, Grads Make Their Own
This push toward entrepreneurship among young people is likely to continue as employers plan to hire 7% fewer graduates from the class of 2010 than they hired from the class of 2009, which saw a nearly 22% drop in hiring from the class before.
Funding and Building your Business
- National Association of Seed and Venture Funds - Position statement: Angel Investor Tax Credit
We urge a comprehensive legislative initiative regarding angel investor tax credits, with specific attention to the areas of immediate behavioral reward, venture eligibility, and investment eligibility.
Incubators and R&D
- Angel Investors – The Good, Bad and Very Ugly
There is a tendency among entrepreneurs to chase money wherever they find it.
- Fidelity and Fantasy Football - Here's 10 More Stupid Reasons to Fire Employees
"Come work for Fidelity, where we treat our best employees like criminals and fire them for stupid little things with no warning"?
- Companies benefit from focus on workers' life stage, not age
Age and generation may not truly define who they are, and they can become more "empowered" if they look at their lives in a different way.
- Learn to say no to easy money
"If you have a sound business model and excellent management, finding money should be easier to attract. The challenge is finding the "right" money."
- The Science of Managing Search Ads
For most people, Google and other search engines are essential tools to navigate the Web. But the workings of the text ads, the blurbs that peddle goods and services on the search results pages, are largely hidden from Web users.
Montana Education Excellence
- The McLaughlin Research Institute in Great Falls readies plans for $2 million Montana Department of Commerce grant
The application process for the new scientist brought more than 60 prospects according to Carlson, who said three or four people will be interviewed. "We're getting really strong applicants," he said.
- NIH chief: Researchers may have to disclose funding sources
The "Proposed Rule" notice would require disclosure of financial connections between medical firms and NIH-funded scientists, and forbid "ghostwritten" studies, authored by drug firms but attributed to researchers.
University Business Plan Competitions
- 101 Employees at Montana State University earn more than $100,000
Those earning $100,000 or more include the seven vice presidents, nine college deans and a plethora of vice provosts, assistant deans, assistant vice presidents, managing directors, and the men’s team coaches.
- Montana SD2 programs bring the classroom to students
The district’s philosophy is to meet students where they are.
- Billings, Montana school raises money for homeless students. “People want to help. When they know how, they come in droves.”
Roughly 40 students at Senior High School in Billings are homeless, sleeping on friends' couches, on the streets or doubling up with other homeless people in area motel rooms.
- Montana State University College of Nursing thrives in Great Falls
The Great Falls campus also offers graduate nursing programs, including family nurse practitioner, clinical nurse leader and family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner programs.
- Are Business Plan Competitions Good for Start-Ups?
While lesser competitions offer schools an excuse to invite successful alumni, investors, and business owners to come to campus or to make a donation, Ms. Chadwick says that only the best competitions — she also admires those hosted by Babson College, University of Texas at Austin and Rice University — really focus on helping create actual start-ups. The rest, she believes, are a mixed bag, worth participants’ time depending on who is judging and mentoring in a given year.
Developing an Angel Network in Montana
- The Issues of Tech Transfer and Intellectual Property in Climate Change Solutions
A legally binding agreement on climate change will almost certainly be delayed until at least 2010 -- in part because of the failure to agree on technology transfer and intellectual property issues.
- What Most Angel Investors Can't Predict
Inaccurate predictions of the majority isn't just a problem with angel group leaders' forecasts of what will happen to the overall angel market.
Oregon Economic Development
- Study shows tax burden for Idahoans is among nation’s lowest
Idaho has the sixth lowest overall per capita tax burden in the country and the lowest tax burden among western states, according to the latest tax burden study published by the Idaho Tax Commission.
- Region set to launch 'venture catalyst' program
The Venture Catalyst program will focus specifically on helping early stage technology-based companies, the renewable energy industry and the aviation/aerospace sector.
Making the Most of the American Prairie
- Help Reform Computer Science Education (And Win a Trip To Australia!)
“We believe that inspiring more women to choose careers in IT isn’t about parity; it’s a compelling issue of innovation, competitiveness, and workforce sustainability. In a global economy, gender diversity in IT means a larger and more competitive workforce; in a world dependent on innovation, it means the ability to design technology that is as broad and creative as the people it serves.”
- Fewer high school students taking computer science classes - Help Reform Computer Science Education (And Win a Trip To Australia!)
Stephenson said computer science classes might be an unintentional casualty in the push to increase academic standards. Computer science is not considered a core subject by the No Child Left Behind law, which influences school priorities and budgets.
- The nation’s economy is going to need more cool nerds.
Educators and technologists say two things need to change: the image of computing work, and computer science education in high schools.
- A four-year degree from a two-year school? It could happen
Florida has offered bachelor's degrees at community colleges since 2001, mostly to serve specific industries — such as nursing and teaching — and communities far from university campuses.
- Online high school, The American Academy, raises $6 million in capital to expand reach
More than 5 million teens are of high school age but aren't in traditional classrooms, said Gregg Rosann, a founder and president of the 2-year-old academy. "Research has shown that the majority of kids have left school not because of grades, but because of life circumstances. Life has taken over."
- Schools focus, improve
"The idea is to provide some additional resources and support for the school so they can improve their performance."
Montana Meth Project
- American Prairie Reserve E-Newsletter Dec. 2009 - APF Purchases 11th Property
Getting “boots on the ground” is usually what drives a true understanding of the diversity and grandeur of the Reserve and surrounding lands.
Cool Stuff That's Coming
- Accountability of Montana Meth Project example for government
Montana's successful attack against methamphetamine reveals an important lesson for future attempts to address public problems. In crafting the Montana Meth Project, The Siebel Foundation applied private sector principles too often absent in the administration of federal grant dollars.
- Digital quantum batteries could exceed lithium-ion performance by orders of magnitude.
The speed at which energy can be stored or released could be orders of magnitude greater, and the energy density (the amount of energy that can be stored) two to 10 times greater than possible with today's best lithium-ion and other battery technologies.
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