Thanks to Kristen Heck, LC Staffing; Leland Johnson, ExcelliMatrix; Parker Tracey, ATP Advisors; Paul Gladen, UM Blackstone LaunchPad; and Les Craig, Next Frontier Capital for sharing with us what they get out of their membership with the Montana High Tech Business Alliance.
Video by Emily Simonson. Photos by Slikati.
“Alosant recently turned to online job boards such as Indeed, LinkedIn and the Montana High Tech Business Alliance to fill specialized positions for our growing Customer Success team. The MHTBA’s job board produced roughly 20 high quality applicants. Ultimately our CX director position was filed by a member of the local tech community who first researched the position through the MHTBA’s job board! Alosant will utilize the MHTBA’s job resources again for our future hiring needs.”
— Mike Swanson, co-founder, Alosant
Missoula-based TOMIS was found by University of Montana alum Evan Tipton in 2017 and was featured in the 2018 High-Growth Companies to Watch list. Soon after the publication of the article, Operations Coordinator Amelia Lyon reached out to let us know how MHTBA helped TOMIS and her own jobs search.
“I found my job at TOMIS through the MHTBA jobs portal! When you want to work for a startup company, MHTBA, is a good place to find those jobs. What’s more, after the High Growth Companies to Watch article came out, we noticed a surge of inquiries about open positions.”
— Amelia Lyon, former Operations Coordinator, TOMIS
Triple Tree, a SaaS startup in Bozeman, was featured on the 2018 Startups to Watch list in February 2018. Co-founder Sam Lucas said the article brought a 250% increase in website traffic and noticeable community recognition after the article’s publication, but he was surprised by the amount of out-of-state interest in their business.
“We received a flood of resumes from Washington, Colorado and Utah from talent looking to move to Bozeman and work for our company. This is a true testament of the value that MHTBA is creating for not only our local and statewide economies, but also speaks to their reach throughout the northwest… We have been absolutely overwhelmed with the diversity and quality of mentor support circulating through Montana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. From our humble beginnings starting up as students at MSU, to becoming employers of some of Montana’s top technology talent, we can directly correlate our achievements to the vertical and statewide network.”
— Sam Lucas, co-founder, Triple Tree
Founded in 1996, Livingston-based MHTBA member PrintingForLess.com (PFL) was the nation’s first e-commerce commercial printer. The draw was Bozeman’s abundance of talent in many fields, including software development and marketing. In April 2018, PFL received a $25M investment from Goldman Sachs.
“PFL is proud to be a founding member of an organization dedicated to the growth of high tech in Montana. One of the most exciting aspects of the High Tech Business Alliance is that we can stand shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues in the industry and celebrate each other’s successes.”
— Andrew Field, founder and CEO, PFL
Tom Stergios founded the Missoula Solutions Center of Advanced Technology Group (ATG) in 2011 and has since grown his team to more than 130 employees. The Missoula office is now the largest for the management and technology consultancy headquartered in Kansas City. In September 2018, ATG was acquired by Cognizant and plans to substantially build out their Missoula office.
“The Montana High Tech Business Alliance is taking the high tech industry in the state to another level. I believe the MHTBA is helping me scale my company, particularly by showcasing the strong businesses we have in Montana and attracting the technical talent we need to grow.”
— Tom Stergios, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development, ATG, a Cognizant company
Helix Business Solutions, based in Memphis, opened two Montana offices in the last several years. The first office, in Dillon, has created partnerships with the University of Montana Western and has already begun to hire local talent. Helix opened its second office in Bozeman on the Oracle campus in July 2014. Helix is an Oracle Service Cloud Partner and was the Oracle Partner of the Year in 2014.
“The Alliance has been an incredible partner for Helix as we’ve expanded in Montana. We’ve grown our employee base by 40%, almost all of this growth in Southwest Montana. We are continuing to find and hire some of the most experienced talent while creating partnerships with area universities to grow the next generation of our team. The MHTBA has created a great source of collaboration for finding talent and in building relationships to promote and grow our business.”
— Travis Cottom, VP of Business Development and Solutions, Helix Business Solutions
Beginning with a two-man shop and a vision for manufacturing in rural Montana, Spika Design and Manufacturing has grown over the past 14 years to over 50 employees, with their specialized upper-level access stands and work platform systems shipping globally. A snapshot of products in production includes complex aircraft-interfacing platform systems for a new Bell helicopter manufacturing plant; a fully-encompassing assembly access structure for a Lockheed Martin satellite manufacturing facility; numerous truckloads of universal aviation stands for the Israeli Air Force, and Blackhawk phase maintenance platforms bound for Army Aviation training in Fort Eustis.
“It’s been great being a part of the Alliance and getting the opportunity to network with other business leaders from around the state. We are in agreement with the belief that, even though unemployment rates are low in many parts of Montana, good jobs with benefits and compensation that allow for the costs of raising a family are difficult to find. We as business leaders can work to increase the state’s average wage, and as an organization work to entice former Montanans to return home, both for good paying manufacturing jobs and for high tech opportunities here and through telecommuting. Working together, we can pave the way to a better, more prosperous tomorrow here in the state we call home.”
— Tom Spika, Owner, Spika Welding