High-tech Montana is Not an Oxymoron: Four Montana Startups to be Featured in Startup Alley at 2018 TechCrunch Disrupt Conference in San Francisco


Christina Henderson, director@mthightech.org, 406-552-9157

Katy Spence, katy.spence@mthightech.org

MISSOULA, MONTANA — August 31, 2018 — The Montana High Tech Business Alliance, in conjunction with California-based TechCrunch and the Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development, is sending four Montana tech startups to San Francisco for the 2018 Disrupt Conference.

“Montana has been ranked one of the top five states for startups for the last five years in a row, according to the Kauffman index,” said Christina Henderson, executive director of the Montana High Tech Business Alliance. “Technology has removed geographic barriers to growth, and these startups are indicative of the opportunities tech brings to a landscape like Montana.”

According to a 2017 report funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Montana boasts a high level of entrepreneurship, dense networks of support, global businesses, high quality workforce, and high quality of life that make it a unique hotbed of startup activity. This report can be found at https://mthightech.org/montana-entrepreneurship-ecosystems.

“Montana consistently leads the nation in startup activity, and is increasingly recognized as an ideal place to locate and grow technology-based businesses,” said Aaron Pratt, Business Development Manager with the Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “The four companies attending TechCrunch disrupt this year are great examples of the kind of companies that are rapidly changing the business landscape in Montana, and offer a glimpse into Montana’s growing technology economy.”


The four Montana startups attending TechCrunch are:

Audience Awards – Founded by award-winning filmmaker Paige Williams, Audience Awards is a platform that connects brands to high-quality, user generated content through video contests and film challenges. Partnerships with brands like GoDaddy, Hilton Worldwide and Kodak have brought Audience Awards recognition in Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc. magazines. Audience Awards was named a Montana High Tech Company to Watch in 2017.

Contact: Paige Williams, paige@audawards.com


Elebase.io – Elebase is a cloud-based platform that delivers content and files to any device and takes care of the critical back end services required for software, so developers can build web and mobile applications much faster. This is the only platform in the world that fully integrates geospatial functionality. The company has already signed up notable customers such as National Geographic, UNESCO, and the Maine Office of Tourism. Elebase was named a 2018 Montana Startup to Watch and is a finalist in the Early Stage MT competition.

Contact: John Frandsen, john@elebase.io


Triple Tree – Triple Tree specializes in technical consulting, integrating existing systems with new software and components, and designing and engineering software solutions from scratch. As one of the 2018 Montana Startups to Watch, Triple Tree found early success in their first client RedOwl Analytics, a Baltimore-based cybersecurity analytics startup recently acquired by Forcepoint in Austin, Texas. Triple Tree continues to work with hyper-growth startups and SaaS enterprises both locally and nationally.

Contact: Sam Lucas, sam@tripletreellc.com


WebBuy –  WebBuy is revolutionizing the process of buying a car from 25,000 new and used car dealers websites through their priority IP APP that allows consumers to digitally purchase a car online or in the showroom and complete the entire process from selection to financing. Managed by two veterans of the car retail and finance industry, current predictions have the company hiring about 200 people over the next three years and generating a more than $100 million revenue stream. WebBuy was awarded a $200,000 employee training grant from Montana’s Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund and is also a finalist in the Early Stage MT competition.

Contact: Steve Zabawa, z@webbuy.com 406-670-8100

The Disrupt Conference is the world’s largest and most impactful tech startup conference. From Sept. 5-7, thousands of companies, investors, economic development organizations, and job seekers will connect with tech startups from around the globe. Ongoing presentations, workshops, and networking events will connect Montana startups with other voices in industries like AI, blockchain, FinTech, and more.

Find more innovative Montana companies on our website: Montana Startups to Watch in 2018,  Montana High-Growth Companies to Watch in 2018, and Montana Top Tech Employers 2018.


About the Montana High Tech Business Alliance:

Launched in April 2014, the Montana High Tech Business Alliance is a nonpartisan statewide association with more than 350 member firms. We support an industry growing up to nine times the overall Montana economy, paying twice the median wage, generating more than $1.7 billion in annual revenues, and creating nearly 1,300 new jobs per year.

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