Invest in Montana tour brings funding info, resources to communities

By Margo Schmidt

The community-focused entrepreneurial nature of Montana creates the perfect environment for startups to engage in alternative financing for funding their businesses. Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Matt Rosendale brought the statewide Invest in Montana tour to Missoula on April 10 to feature funding options available to startups. He intends to initiate a dialogue about starting and growing businesses to improve Montana’s economy in 19 cities across the state.

Montana is a top state for crowdfunding, according to Deputy Securities Commissioner Lynne Egan, and offers a unique exemption for companies to raise up to $1 million annually through crowdfunding without the typical registration requirements. Since July 2015, this exemption has allowed companies to fund their businesses through their local communities. Egan said more local investment creates a sense of community and more residual income staying in the state.

SBA Montana District Director Wayne Gardella spoke about helping small business owners with resources they categorize into the three C’s: capital, counseling, and contracting. With seven representatives throughout the state, the SBA counsels about 1,000 business owners each year and can offer loans between $5,000 and $5 million to qualified businesses. Gardella also spoke about one of the biggest challenges businesses face: planning their exit strategy when it is time to pass ownership of the business.

Select speakers from the local community are invited to share their experiences with funding in Montana. In Missoula, Rodney Haynes, Owner and Founder of Creative Finance & Investments, LLC, spoke about operating under the Reg D Rule 506, which allows for businesses to engage in private placement of securities where they can raise an unlimited amount of capital from accredited investors and up to 35 non-accredited investors. Senators Tester and Daines both sent representatives to the Missoula event. After the presentation, there was time to network with speakers and other attendees.

The Invest in Montana tour is continuing through the state with stops in Glendive, Sidney, Baker, Colstrip, Miles City, Billings, and Bozeman on April 23, 24, and 25. Visit the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance events page for for more information and registration. For more information about CSI, call (406) 444-2040 or visit their website.

Read about the tour and crowdfunded startup Cowboy Cricket Farms: State Auditor Rosendale tours Cowboy Crickets in Belgrade, approves $750k crowdfund application (KTVQ)

About the Author: Margo Schmidt will graduate from the University of Montana in 2018 with a double major in Finance and Marketing. She moved to Missoula so she would have a place to ride her horse in the mountains. In addition to some wonderful internship opportunities with the City of Missoula Parks and Recreation and the Missoula County Fairgrounds, Margo is now working as the Marketing and Membership Coordinator for the Alliance.

About the Publisher: Launched in 2014, the Montana High Tech Business Alliance is an association of more than 325 high tech and manufacturing companies and affiliates creating high-paying jobs in Montana. Find high-paying Montana tech and manufacturing jobs by visiting

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