MTPR

Can Do: Lessons From Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs

  • Hosted by Arnie Sherman

"Can Do: Lessons From Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs" is a podcast all about why Montana leads the nation in entrepreneurship and business startups. Host Arnie Sherman picks the brains of successful Montana entrepreneurs and shares their lessons with you. From cricket farms to romance novels, "Can Do" shares the secrets to business success in Montana. Tune in for lessons every other Friday at mtpr.org or wherever you get your podcasts.

Host Arnie Sherman is a featured media contributor. His guest editorial articles appear in newspapers across the nation and in China, Russia and Europe. Continuing to balance work with creativity, his life portfolio includes written poetry, song writing, appearances in community theater, TV commercials and a published article in the Journal of Psychology. A frequent lecturer and speaker on three continents, Sherman offers a dynamic and authentic voices on current events and daily life.

John Brownell and Michael FitzGerald, founders of Submittable, stand in their office in the Florence building in Missoula, MT, June, 2015.
Chérie Newman

"We just showed up every day for two to three hours when no one was asking us and we pushed the ball forward a little bit and I think that’s the difference. It’s not about getting rich, it’s about enjoying doing hard, weird things - potentially for years and years."

That’s Michael FitzGerald, the co-founder and CEO of Submittable.com, a software management company based in Missoula, Montana. Since Michael and his colleagues launched the company in 2010, it has provided an organized, online submission system to more than 10,000 businesses including NPR, Nike and Airbnb.

On this episode of "Can Do: Lessons From Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs," Michael FitzGerald joins host Arnie Sherman to talk about the genesis, growth and future directions Submittable.

"Challenges can be construed as opportunities. Challenges can also be construed as obstacles. The one thing that I learned when we first started this company was that everything was an opportunity, and every opportunity we needed to chase."

That’s Larry Kolb, the co-founder and U.S. president of TSI Health Sciences, a manufacturer of functional health care products sold in over 35 countries across the world.  In this episode of "Can Do," Larry shares how he co-founded and grew a multifaceted, international business from Missoula, Montana.

Can Do: Montana Entrepreneurs Stick Together

Feb 23, 2018

“One of the really great things about Montana entrepreneurs is, because it is a small community, there is this feeling of, ‘We are all in it together.’ So, I’ve found that in Montana it’s more accepted to say stuff like, ‘I totally screwed that up’ or, ‘God I hope my business makes it.’ Having the ability to talk like that and be so transparent is really powerful,” says Stefanie Sample, a Montana entrepreneur and neuroscience-based leadership coach, and this week's guest on "Can Do."

Nicole Hagerman Miller.
Courtesy Biomimicry 3.8

“I think focus is such a fundamental key for any startup, because so much opportunity comes along that you’ve got to know where you’re going,” says Nicole Hagerman Miller, the managing director of Biomimicry 3.8. The Missoula-based company, which grew out of Janine Benyus' 1997 award-winning book, “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature,” creates strategies for business based on functions found in nature.

On this episode of “Can Do,” Nicole talks about the the lessons she has learned while managing a startup whose product is a bit esoteric.

A screen capture from the Vim&Vigr website showing some of the compression socks they make.
https://vimvigr.com/

"I feel that the community here ... not only Missoula, but the state of Montana, has been overwhelming, and I don't know if we would've been this successful if we had launched anywhere else," says Michelle Huie, founder and CEO of Vim&Vigr, a company based in Missoula, Montana that makes and sells fashionable compression legwear for men and women.

Today on “Can Do," host Arnie Sherman talks with Huie about how she grew her business exponentially in just four short years, and what she's learned along the way.

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