Montana’s economy has long been associated with energy, natural resources, and agriculture. One sector not typically associated with Montana’s economy is technology, and that is something the State wants to change. It wants to attract more technology companies to its small but vibrant technology community.
Montana is home to approximately 2,721 advanced technology establishments of which 626 have five or more employees. These companies directly employ a total of almost 12,000 individuals whose earnings are significantly higher than the state’s annual average wage of about $25,700.
The State has been taking steps to build a robust technology business community within its borders. One primary initiative has been the Montana Business Foundry: Tech Ventures for a Rural State program (website: Grow Montana). The purpose of the project is to forge a strong, innovative partnership that is successful in growing technology companies in Montana . Specific goals are to:
1. create an effective, sustainable partnership involving key university, state government, and private-sector partners;
2. catalyze and enhance the infrastructure to grow new technology companies;
3. recruit women and Native Americans for entrepreneurship training and technology ventures; and
4. establish a critical mass of new technology companies to provide a major impetus to Montana’s technology sector.
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