|MATR Newsletter - Tue Oct 25, 2005|
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"We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true." -- Robert Wilensky
If you're in the Missoula area tomorrow, Wed. 10/26, attending this would be worthwhile - "Montana Chamber Of Commerce Business Agenda Tour, 10/26, Missoula" http://www.matr.net/article-16609.html
Come Home Montana
- Rediscovering Lewis and Clark Territory - The New US Brain Belt
Recently, however, there have been stirrings of life in the lands of the Louisiana Purchase. Not only neighborhoods of St. Louis, but scores of cities and small towns throughout our Middle West are being rediscovered by a new generation of Americans. Places like Sioux Falls and Fargo in the north, Boise, Casper, and Missoula in the west, and Kansas City and Omaha in the center are out-and-out thriving, despite little or no attention from the national media.
- Wyoming's Education Bombshell - It's been 13 years since four large Wyoming school districts sued Wyoming, claiming its education funding system was flawed.
"The state has brought in top-flight educational economists to the look at the data and tell the state whether Wyoming teacher salaries are competitive enough to recruit and retain teachers," O'Donnell said. "They've all concluded the same thing, that Wyoming teacher salaries are funded competitively."
- New Database of State Policies to Strengthen Arts Education
Research has shown students receiving early exposure to music and other arts have better math and language skills.
Montana Economic Development
- MSE-Tetragenics ( Butte, MT) upgrades Plant Control System
- Gallatin Valley businesses honored
"You know you have a good business model when you're making money while you sleep," said McKinnon Baxter.
- NorthWestern board says Montana cities' offer not enough
“Clearly, the propaganda campaign has stepped up a notch.”
Developing Funding Opportunities in Montana
- $1.3 million Primary Sector Workforce Training Funds Available for Montana Businesses that Create at Least Ten (10) New Jobs.
The grant program was designed for primary sector businesses that are expanding and adding workers.
- Senate Protects Rural Development and Rural Asset-Building Programs (For Now) and Rejects SACI
"The Center for Rural Affairs has a website with an excellent synopsis of the future funding crisis at the federal level for important rural development assistance programs." Ray Trumpower
- Montana Chamber Of Commerce Business Agenda Tour, 10/26, Missoula
The meeting is open to all business owners.
- Movie footage shot at Chico Hot Springs Resort in Montana - "Hoot"
"This is indicative of the kind of films we can attract if we can get this thing going," Patrick Markey said of the new incentive package.
- Twelve plans competing for Butte-Silver Bow economic development money
Twelve groups asked for a total of $288,000 and only $65,000 is available from this year’s mill levy.
- State-Run Venture Fund Succeeds With Native Firms
The Maryland Venture Fund was started in 1994 and is a leader among state-run funds. About 35 other states have venture funds of some kind, but none is as large as Maryland's. Most, including funds in the tech centers of California and Massachusetts, offer much smaller equity investments, focusing on technology transfer from research institutions.
Funding and Building your Business
- ESRI and GCS Research Collaborate in Statewide Montana Bioterrorism Exercise
It included participation from 59 of 63 county and tribal health departments as well as 26 hospitals and clinics.
- 2005 Customers First Awards from Fast Company
You'd think it would be obvious: Take care of the folks who matter most -- the ones who pay the tab. But truly customer-focused companies are sadly rare. And so Fast Company is celebrating those that get it right.
- The 10 Faces of Innovation
"Innovation is all about the roles people can play, the hats they can put on."
- Putting yourself in customer's shoes is a must
"Is there a use for my idea in her life?" Martha Stewart
- How a Small Biz Can Get No-Cost Expert Advice
Business can be cut-throat and competitive. But it's the collaborative part that is the most fun and rewarding.
- Diary of a Startup Entrepreneurs Blog
Alane's business is getting far more attention than the typical architecture startup as a result of this unique approach.
- Web 2.0: Meet Venture Capital
Alarm:clock is a daily news site that evaluates privately-held technology startups in the areas of hardware, software, the Internet, and wireless communications.
- Incubators give companies a start - New firms find space, bargain rents to begin increasing production
"The idea is the small businesses are going to get an orchestrated set of services that will help them grow faster and smarter than if they were doing it on their own," Erlewine said. "Then they become a solid employment force in that community."
- Venture-capital report: Entrepreneurs find a new way to cash in
In the startup world, when companies mature, they go to the public markets to fund growth and allow investors and employees to reap the financial rewards of their work. WhitePages.com took a different route recently to reach the same goals.
- "The 60 Minute Guide to Growth, Innovation and Added Value"
It focuses on the key business process of innovation, the successful exploitation of new ideas, and the factors most relevant to this.
- Don't Let Ego Kill the Startup
Silicon Valley guru Jonathan Hirshon has seen the "know-it-all attitude" of young entrepreneurs too often doom their new companies
- Top 10 Most Practical Blogs for Entrepreneurs
With more and more people jumping on the business blogging bandwagon, it's getting to the point that there is far more out there than you could ever hope to read on a regular basis.
- How to Attract VC Investors
Here's what they said is important now:
Regional Economic Development
- America’s Coming Innovation Crash? "Rising Above The Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future (2005)"
Despite high rankings from the World Economic Forum, leading experts and researchers are getting very worried about the state of America’s science and technology infrastructure. The latest report of bad news comes from the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.
Utah Economic Development
- Utah Venture Capital investments down - $30 million in capital raised in 3rd quarter - Mature companies beat out new ones for VC cash
"If you just take third quarter it looks like things were in a downturn, but that's not at all the case," Strain said. "The nine-month period this year is ahead of the full-year period of any of the past four years."
- Talent, tech put Salt Lake in fast elite
Cities that made the list, Conley said, "tell you that it is an attractive place for people in a creative class to live."
- Hilex (Jerome, Idaho) purchases Vanguard Plastics - "Would you like plastic or plastic?"
"The Jerome facility is the state-of-the-art facility in comparison to the other 11," he said, and it was built to accommodate more equipment. It will be a model for the other plants, he said.
- The Physics of Form - Idaho Companies use high-tech furnaces for custom molds
At Form Physics, components ranging from parts of orthodontic braces to products for aircraft and aerospace begin as precisely mixed alloys of exotic metal powders, formed in molds and heated to temperatures as high as 4,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Giant retail complex to change Boise's core - BoDo opens Oct. 31 on 4 city blocks
Local and national observers believe the seven-acre BoDo project, which is patterned after similar developments in Boulder, Colo., Santa Barbara, Calif. and Bellevue, Wash., will trigger an explosion of activity in the Downtown area.
- October 2005 Idaho Commerce & Labor Connections
"We are extremely pleased and excited to locate our new facility in Mountain Home. The city and state were very aggressive in terms of the incentives they were able to offer." -- John L. Skoug, Chairman and CEO Marathon Cheese Corp.
Incubators and R&D
- Hawaii proving it can compete in business world
The 50th state can thank generous tax credits for high-technology investment and a senior senator in Washington, D.C., whose political muscles bring home research and development contracts.
- Scientists Build Tiny Vehicles for Molecular Passengers
"This is it, you can't make anything smaller to transport atoms around,"
- Study will examine new technologies to help heart patients in rural areas better monitor their health
About 150 people in Montana and Wyoming are being recruited for a three-year study of new technologies to help heart patients in rural areas better monitor their health.
The Creative and Cultural Economy
- Accidental Invention Points to End of Light Bulbs
Michael Bowers, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, was just trying to make really small quantum dots, which are crystals generally only a few nanometers big
- Scotland Will Spend $40 million On Postgrad Upgrade to make their research more attractive for international research and venture capital funding
The partnership is also set to benefit companies working in the energy, electronics, medicine and finance, said Denis Hall, the director of the ERP, in a statement.
Small Diameter Timber Utilization
- Got trivia? Writer says Mining City (Butte, Montana) provides wealth of good tales
“Butte just has a more potent flavor than any other Montana town, be it good, bad or ugly, it has more interesting tales to tell,”
- Maine is Focusing on Developing Its Creative Economy
"In rural towns, everyone is an entrepreneur," Stutzman said. "If you want to live in rural Maine, you have to, most of the time, create what you want for yourself."
- Timber giant Weyerhaeuser planning to close 2 mills in Washington State
Chief Executive Steven Rogel said the moves are "by no means the final steps" as the company reviews its businesses. "There are more tough decisions ahead."
- Mentors can make a difference. Finding good ones may be difficult, but the effort pays off, opens doors
Webster's Encyclopedia of Dictionaries defines a mentor as "an experienced and prudent advisor." However, at work they are often much more than that.
- Montana Nonprofit Association Announces Online Nonprofit Career Center
- Workbook Helps Nonprofits Strengthen Community Connections
A new workbook sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is designed to help non-profit organizations strengthen community-based projects, as well as related funding proposals, by building connections between assets in their own organizations and those in their communities.
Connectivity & Communications
- Energy tab: Zero - Futuristic homes rely on the power of the sun and high-tech construction
The house will produce at least as much energy as it uses, giving it the rare designation of being a "zero energy" home.
- Townsend, Montana to join growing list of biomass schools
School district officials here hope to save up to $1 million in heating costs over the next 30 years with the installation of a boiler that burns wood scraps known as "biomass" for heat.
- Beer waste may hold answers to fuel crisis
"We've basically taken a waste stream and turned it into a revenue stream,"
- Wind power coming on strong in northwestern states
Wind farms, like the one being built in Judith Gap, are being considered in other parts of the West.
Lewis and Clark Bicentennial
- Broadband could be an outlet away in Idaho - IdaComm tests high-speed access over power lines
"It really reduces my construction costs," he said. And after trying it out, Navarro now prefers BPL for his tenants over other broadband options, like a digital subscriber line (DSL) or cable modem connection, because it is "one of the fastest Internets I have ever seen," he said.
- Web tools reshape Internet
No more World Wide Wait.
- Colleges Protest Call to Upgrade Online Systems -Federal Wiretap law expanding reach
The order, issued by the Federal Communications Commission in August and first published in the Federal Register last week, extends the provisions of a 1994 wiretap law not only to universities, but also to libraries, airports providing wireless service and commercial Internet access providers.
- Final Explore the Big Sky (Lewis and Clark) numbers leave Great Falls, Montana in red
"Two hundred years of Lewis and Clark?" Tryon said. "I just don't think people really care about it that much." He said some people are intensely interested, but the general population is more blasé.
Cool Stuff That's Coming
- America West pulling out of Billings
Bruce Putnam, the city's director of transit and aviation, said although America West is leaving the Billings market, he wouldn't be surprised if another carrier steps in to fill the void.
- Visionaries Float Big Ideas
Perhaps the biggest hurdle-clearing solution offered up came from Diamandis, whose recent announcement of a NASCAR-like Rocket Racing League intends to spark America's love of spaceflight anew.
- World's First 10.1" Flexible Electronic Paper Display
Like paper, the material can be flexed and rolled. As an additional benefit, the E Ink Imaging Film uses 100 times less energy than a liquid crystal display because it can hold an image without power and without a backlight.
- Quest for tech Holy Grail - H2Volt develops long-lasting fuel cell
The battery of the future, if a Berkeley startup gets its way, looks something like a fat stick of butter with metal grills stuck on the sides.
- Futurists Pick Top Tech Trends
"We've done 20 years of adding functionality, and 99 percent of that functionality isn't needed," Pearson said. "There will be an enormous market over the next several years for really simple stuff."
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