|MATR Newsletter - Fri Mar 10, 2006|
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"Building a strong economic base requires a balanced approach. Recruiting companies is not enough. Starting new companies is not enough. Building a creative place is not enough. Educating people is not enough. "Creative people" are not enough. We need all of these components (and a few more) in dynamic balance. EDPros need the skills and abilities to see their regional economies as integrated systems, not simply a string of projects. Simple-minded "stove pipe" thinking -- "economic development" is different than "workforce development " is different than "community development" -- perpetuates our fragmented views of the world and distorts our ability to identify opportunities. (They are all around us, even in "depressed" economies.) Opportunites lie in the connections. And it is the new job of EDPros to design and make these connections. Weave networks." Ed Morrison EDProWeblog http://edpro.blog ... t.com/
It's unfortunate to hear this week that CSFB has decided that it's goal of raising $15MM for a regional venture fund is too difficult. http://www.matr.net/article-18551.html With the veto of SB511 (Angel Investment Tax Credit) "Governor vetoes Senator Mangan's investor tax-deduction bill - Clarification provided by Administration Cabinet Officers" http://www.matr.net/article-14522.html and a lack of administrative funding for SB133 ( Montana Equity Capital Investment Act.) "SB133-Special Session Issue" http://www.matr.net/article-17343.html Montana now has few, if any, active venture funding initiatives. One of the major keys to a successful "new economy" is access to venture funding for the vital startups that feed the engine of success. The Montana legislature and business leaders needs to come together now to develop those initiatives that will meet the approval of the State and move our growing technology, bio and high growth companies forward. "Montana Needs to Develop a More Robust and Active Funding Environment for Entrepreneurs and Startups" http://www.matr.net/article-17845.html Please contact either Sen. Mangan or myself if you'd like to get involved in building a better funding environment in Montana. Russ
Developing a more Entrepreneurial Montana
- What's Your EQ (entrepreneurial quotient)? Do you really want to start a business? Can you?
Some answers are debatable, so there will be many comments. #10, in particular, is tricky so read it very carefully.
- Inside Entrepreneurship: Make sure startup job is right for you
If you crave challenge and like to work at a fast pace, then keep networking. You'll be snapped up by a grateful entrepreneur before you know it.
- Networking site caters to children. Industrious Kid Inc.
With Industrious Kid, Symons and some partners hope to answer thelarger need — that is the desire of kids 8 to 14 who may want to create blogs and express themselves to friends via the Web but who would be safer not to have that stuff broadcast to the whole world.
- An Action Agenda for Improving America’s High Schools
Business leaders have a particularly important role to play.
- Deadline (3/31) Approaches For Governor’s Scholarship in Montana
Students can apply for The Governor’s Postsecondary Scholarship at http://www.mgslp.org or http://www.mt.gov. The application deadline is March 31.
- Building a Better Engineer. With No Tuition or Tenure, Olin College Aims to Produce Grads for a Global Economy
Olin College is the answer to an extraordinary question: If a foundation offered $460 million to start an undergraduate college of engineering from scratch, what would it be like? Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering is like few other schools. It has no academic departments. No tenure. No tuition. And more female students and professors, percentage-wise, than almost any other U.S. engineering school.
- In Berkeley, Calif., lunch at school has become a learning experience
"Teaching kids about food is as important as math or science,"
- Schools take a lesson from big business - DECENTRALIZE NOW !!!
Yet since DuPont introduced decentralization to business nearly 90 years ago, large companies have stumbled across few ideas that have better withstood the test of time. Now, momentum is building from New York City to San Francisco to Miami to decentralize public schools and drag them into the 1920s.
- Game teaches journalism students skills
The goals of the game are not only to reinforce the thinking process behind information gathering and distinguishing between different types of sources, but also to teach etiquette, Paul says.
- Senator Conrad Burns of Montana link to Montana State University "Burns Technology Center" scrutinized
A Washington, D.C., newspaper is raising questions about whether former staffers for Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., have used their links to the senator and a Montana State University technology center http://btc.montana.edu/index.htm to make money.
- INSA, University of Montana, Senator Conrad Burns, Representative Denny Rehberg connected through current investigation
The University of Montana has a web of connections to the Inland Northwest Space Alliance, aside from those that prompted a state investigation, according to UM and INSA documents. In addition to Lloyd Chesnut, the former UM vice president who helped create INSA and then took a paid position at the private organization, at least three other UM employees are or were also INSA employees.
- Space Center (INSA) Investigation Casts Doubt on Montana University Leaders
Regents also believe the center was created without their knowledge or approval, casting doubt on the University of Montana's process for such projects and the practices of the university's top administrators.
Montana Economic Development
- Albertson's Accepts ARx, RMTG's (Billings, MT) Cutting-Edge Pharmacy Management System.
ARx makes pharmacists’ day-to-day work more efficient by automating or simplifying many functions normally performed by hand, over the phone, or by multiple employees.
- Montana Manufacturing Center quarterly newsletter - Winter 2006
Read more about increasing the fun factor in the snow, innovation on the agricultural front, and a special feature on the manufacturing outlook for 2006 and beyond in the latest edition of Forward Focus, the Montana Manufacturing Center quarterly newsletter.
Developing Funding Opportunities in Montana
- Snowy Mountain Development Corp. (Lewistown, MT) has $650,000 in loan funds to assist local businesses
“We want to know a bank is in a partnership with the business and most of the money the business gets must come from a bank, but we can fill in the gaps,” said Bailey.
- Montana farmers poised to harvest profit from carbon 'crop'. Conservation practice might boost pocketbook
When farmers practice conservation methods, such as not plowing up a field after harvest, they are keeping carbon in the ground instead of releasing it into the air, where it acts as a greenhouse gas.
- Montana Increases Resources For Businesses
The trust fund was started with $40 million in interest from the Coal Tax Fund. The new trust fund will grow for 20 years generating $3 million in interest its first year, and growing to a potential of $12 million. Only the interest will be spent, Barrett says, with 50 percent going toward job creation.
- CSFB Terminates its contract to raise Venture Capital Fund in Montana
"As discussed, fundraising has been particularly challenging. After contacting 64 potential investors and advisors on behalf of the Fund, including each of the pension plans in the region and surrounding states, endowments, consultants, large corporations, banks and high net worth investors, Credit Suisse has received no indications of interest to date." Michael Arpey, Managing Director, Co-Head of the Customized Fund Investment Group Credit Suisse First Boston
- Public Policy, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Freedom
An academic study, underwritten by the Cato Institute, explores the issues related to states raising venture capital to attract entrepreneurs or building an entrepreneurial community to attact venture capital.
Funding and Building your Business
- What Is Montana Geospatial One-Stop And How Do I Use It?, 3/16, Helena
Geodata.gov http://geodata.gov is a geographic information system (GIS) portal, also known as the Geospatial One-Stop, which serves as a public gateway for improving access to geospatial information and data under the Geospatial One-Stop e-government initiative.
- How to avoid making bad hires
HR experts say even the gabbiest managers can learn to sidestep the traps that can destroy a good question-and-answer session. Here are the most common:
- Patent Law - Life-science interests want stronger protection, while the IT field seeks faster action. A clash of industries
The deluge of increasingly complex applications driven by the convergence in technologies means it takes an average of three years to get a patent, which even then might be of questionable quality because of a lack of expertise at the Patent and Trademark Office.
- Beware of Dissatisfied Consumers: They Like to Blab
"Even though these shoppers don't share their pain with the store, they do share their pain with other people, apparently quite a few other people," says Hoch.
- Entrepreneurial Proverbs. I'm sure other people have their own rules of thumb; what are yours?
It's good to be king -- being an entrepreneur is the best job I've had.
- Control the community or just let go? When do you release the software?
The company can create the most compelling site with the most altruistic of intensions, but until you add people to the mix, it's anyone's guess how the site will be used.
- Seek angels: One might help you wing it
There are two kinds of good ideas. The first one is for a small business that will merely sustain the lifestyle you seek. Opening a gift shop on a Hawaiian beach, for example. The second is one that will be big-- big enough to grow into a big player or that you can sell to a big player.
- Federal Telework Picking Up Speed
"More than half of federal IT professionals still are unclear about how telework programs will impact FISMA compliance," Peterson said. "This is clearly an opportunity for industry, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Office of Management and Budget to step in and tear down a major roadblock for telework growth."
Regional Economic Development
- Value-added Manufacturing by State, 2001-2004 Montana ranks 16th in % change
Among the statistics included in this survey: employment, payroll, value added by manufacture, cost of materials consumed, value of shipments, detailed capital expenditures, supplemental labor costs, fuels and electric energy used, and inventories by stage of fabrication.
- Warmer winters may melt ski spots. Global warming - Even a small temperature gain could spell doom for many Northwest ski resorts
Partly funded by the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA, the study identifies areas of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and western Montana that could have less snow during the core winter months of December, January and February.
- Oregon bioscience startups gather to swap financing stories
With a series of SBIR grants but no other significant funding, Epley said Vesticon has completed development work on two devices and plans to begin sales in the fall. A third system is halfway through development.
- Retirees boosting states' rural economies
Instead of beating paths to Florida and Arizona, aging boomers already are opting for unconventional, far-flung U.S. locations, primarily in the South and West.
- States urged to curb senior tax breaks
Montana is one of 14 states that offer senior preferences such as exemptions for government and private pensions, personal exemptions and higher standard deductions.
- Fledgling businesses rely on SCORE
"SCORE has former certified public accountants, a lawyer, former small business owners, just about every discipline you can think of," Grazadzieleski said. "And a lot of those skills are transferable."
Washington State Business
- Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers in Government IT. Change is possible despite the age-old belief that institutional barriers impede government reform.
Our motivation is to allow customers to drive every aspect of business. "This is the sole reason we exist." P.K. Agarwal Director California Technology Services Department
Incubators and R&D
- NeoRx of Seattle faces crisis, its auditors warn. Could go broke by May 31
A reprieve may come next month. On April 11, shareholders are set to consider a $65 million financing deal, led by MPM Capital, which will own about 30 percent of NeoRx's stock if it is approved.
- Trilogy Partners investing in Seattle area's startups
One of the latest to benefit from Trilogy's war chest is Junxion, a 3-year-old Seattle company whose technology allows computer users to create wireless hot spots wherever a cellular network is available.
- Montana State University rises to top tier of research universities
"Given all indications and trend comparisons, MSU will definitely exceed the $100 million level this year and will likely be well over $105 million," said Tom McCoy, Vice-President of Research, Creativity and Technology Transfer.
Business Plan Forums
- The Better World Project. Technology Transfer: Helping to Make a Better World
The Better World Project http://www.autm.net/betterworldproject.cfm , a series of printed and online resources, shares these stories to promote understanding about the important role academic research and technology transfer play in making our world a better place to live.
- 55 advance in Wisconsin Governor's business plan contest
The top 20 entrants will submit their full business plans and head into the final stretch vying for a first prize worth $50,000, several other prizes, and recognition.
- How To Be a Great Moderator by Guy Kawasaki
Moderating a panel is deceptively hard--harder, in fact, than keynoting because the quality of the panelists is usually beyond your control. Here's how to be a great moderator.
Connectivity & Communications
- Montana regulators may undo power deregulation
"What we want to do is rewrite the statute so that it gives us the opportunity to move back to where we were, not that we'll get there," said Public Service Commissioner Bob Raney.
- California taking power of sun mainstream
"Any savings you can get you need to take, because energy is very, very expensive," says Gage, 61, a high-school math teacher. "I don't anticipate the energy crisis getting any better. I think it's going to get exceedingly worse."
- The Strength of Internet Ties - The internet and email aid users in maintaining their social networks and provide pathways to help when people face big decisions
The internet plays socially beneficial roles in a world moving towards “networked individualism.” Email allows people to get help from their social networks and the web lets them gather information and find support and information as they face important decisions.
- Broadband Over Power Lines for 21st Century Communities
With knowledge as power in the Information Age, and technology a pivotal component of the global economy, communities across the United States must develop a progressive plan for broadband infrastructure if they want to attract and maintain the creative class of workers who are vital to ensuring global competitiveness.
- How to monitor the kids from online social perils?
"Kids are very savvy about the technology," says Don Tapscott, author of Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation. "But I'm not sure they totally understand the implications of a billion people being able to see them doing whatever is posted."
- Bright Lights, Big Sky. Mountains, Rivers, Trees. Bozeman has all of that, sure, but these days the lively downtown gets the attention.
Welcome to Bozeman, Mont., where the mountain men cook like Wolfgang Puck and a lemon zester is as essential as a Buck knife.
- Philipsburg, Montana picked as one of top 12 'distinctive destinations' to visit by the National Trust for Historic Preservation
Philipsburg, Montana, a mining tradition in a beautiful landscape, the state's oldest operating school, jail and opera house.
Cool Stuff That's Coming
- Leading by example. Western Montana student leaders gather in Hamilton for training,networking
Leaders understand there is a consequence for every choice, he said. “You are a leader and someone is watching you.”
- Gandhi, Mandela, Mother Teresa, a Tree, a Pillow ... Images of Leadership from Future Leaders
"Flying geese are very popular images of leadership.... It's representative of the fact that leadership is shared -- one goose steps forward and another steps back."
- Bacteria Turn Styrofoam into Useful Biodegradable Plastic
This would be good news for the U.S., which produced three million tons of polystyrene in 2000, according to the EPA, and threw away 2.3 million tons of the stuff, consigning the waste to rest for long years in landfills.
- Drug Found to Reverse the Ravages of Alzheimer's in Mice
"Not only does it appear to work on the pathology of Alzheimer's and ease its symptoms, it crosses the blood-brain barrier, which means it does not have to be directly administered to the brain, a significant advantage for a pharmaceutical product."
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