In my last post I indicated that I would write the next in 72 hours. That was three weeks ago, much has transpired since then so here goes the story…
When we moved to Bozeman 12 years ago I had accepted a job with RightNow Technologies and joined as the 20th employee. At the time, we and Zoot Enterprises were the two major tech companies in the valley.
Back then I saw the potential for Bozeman to become a hotbed of startups, as usual I was a little ahead of the curve. I’ve been watching and waiting, biding my time to see the valley come into its’ own, I believe that time has come.
The story of Startup Bozeman’s birth is here, reading that will frame up the rest of this post.
As with most of the rest of my life, the simple act of moving in the direction I wished to go unleashed a flurry of activity. In the three weeks since I emailed Brad (who was incredibly, amazingly responsive, supportive and gracious despite the fact that I was doing the email equivalent of a cold call) I:
Spent a fascinating hour with Teresa McKnight, the recently hired director of Montana State University’s newly renamed innovation campus. She’s a breath of fresh air in that arena, filled with equal measures of vision and determination, stay tuned for great things there!
Visited with entrepreneurs from the companies at the front edge of the second wave of startups in Bozeman – the “Silicon Prarie” (as the national press has coined it): Foundant, Schedulicity, Webfilings and Wisetail. Each of these companies has staked a place in their respective markets, are on healthy growth trajectories and are filled with intelligent, energetic teams that are driving them forward every day.
Saw Montana Programmers, which two friends of mine (who were kind enough to let this wannabe coder join in) started in 2008 with four members sail past the 300 member mark! This week alone we had two great events in Bozeman, an incredibly well done Agile presentation by one of the most passionate scrum masters I’ve had the privilege to meet, Boulder’s own Erin Beierwaltes of Skipstone consulting and a drink-up (thanks for that idea Github!) at Webfilings.
Watched my friends Chris and Carie launch their own startup, jobfeedy, and see it get traction in the first 48 hours of operation!
Hung out with a number of other people I met through the events above who are either on or considering the entrepreneurial journey. Had some great conversations, learned a lot and was able to give back in several cases, which is my real mission in all this!
Saw the publication of another article on Bozeman’s startup community.
Watched Startup Bozeman get it’s first public callout at the second Pecha Kucha night (thanks Greg!!!)
So, thanks to a great group of friends and encouragement from Brad Feld, Startup Bozeman is off and running.
If you’re of a mind to start something, figure out what you need and start asking!!!