Early Stage Montana Wins Accelerator Fund Competition; Adds Well-Known Venture Capitalist Tracy Killoren Chadwell to Board of Directors

Early Stage Montana

Early Stage Montana, a nonprofit dedicated to accelerating the growth of the Montana
technology ecosystem and creating quality jobs in Montana communities, announced today
that it is a winner of the SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and will receive funds to
expand its Accelerator Series and mentor programming.

The SBA’s Growth Accelerator prizes are awarded to start-up accelerator programs working with
cutting edge STEM/R&D companies. Prizes of $50,000 each were awarded to well-known
organizations across the country to help them expand their capacity. This funding demonstrates
the importance of innovation programming and supporting small businesses as hubs for job
creation and economic growth.

“We are honored to receive this prize so we can expand our programming to better serve
entrepreneurs across the state beyond just Missoula, Bozeman, and Billings” says Early Stage
Montana Executive Director, Jenni Graff. “The US SBA recognizes the critical importance of
effective Accelerator programs that nurture a pipeline of high-potential and high-growth
technology startups that drive economic transformation while creating high-paying jobs.”
Early Stage Montana also announces an impressive addition to its Board of Directors by adding
venture capitalist Tracy Killoren Chadwell, founding partner of 1843 Capital. In 2021, Tracy was
named to Forbes Magazine’s Inaugural “50 Over 50” list and in 2019 to Entrepreneur Magazine’s
list of “100 Powerful Women.” Under Tracy’s leadership, 1843 Capital has made notable
investments in many early stage technology companies and helped them grow into large
national brands such as Beautycounter (Exited: $1B), Tempo Automation, and May Mobility. She
and her family are active community members in Big Sky.

“Tracy is a true venture capital leader nationally and she chooses to live in Montana.” Graff says.
Adding “her expertise as an investor and mentor will help accelerate the tech ecosystem in
Montana and attract more attention to the great companies growing here.”

Chadwell is poised to hit the ground running as the newest addition to the Early Stage Montana
board. She says,“It is an honor and a pleasure to join the Early Stage Montana Board. As we
consider the next chapter for the state of Montana, building on the already vibrant tech
community is critical. I am excited to do my part in opening doors for Montana founders to help
them build high growth companies.”

Founded in 2018, Early Stage Montana has already helped train and mentor 80+ tech start-ups
who have attracted over $50 million in investment and created over 80 new, high-paying jobs in
Montana. The 2021 cohort of companies that participated in the organization’s training and mentoring programs will take the stage at the Tech Accelerator Series Statewide Showcase, on
October 20th at MSU’s Inspiration Hall and virtually via live stream. Tickets can be purchased in
advance at

For more information on Early Stage Montana, visit the website at
or connect on social media at and

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