Montana Public Radio

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 cryptocurrency to distilleries, 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 Montana-based global business leader and 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.

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 businesses based on functions found in nature.

On this episode of “Can Do,” Nicole talks about 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.

Keep your overhead low, and don't be afraid to make mistakes, LumenAd co-founders Ryan Hansen and Matt Parker say.

"Advertising technology with a pulse," is how they describe their company, which assists ad agencies in connecting advertisers with consumers. Founded in 2014, LumenAd already plans to add 62 new jobs over the next two years at its Missoula, Montana-based headquarters.

Hear from Ryan and Matt about the rapid rise of their new digital startup and their plans for the future on this episode of “Can Do: Lessons from Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs"

Tom Snyder, creator and owner of Five On Black, a fast, casual, health-oriented Brazilian-style restaurant that has locations in Montana and Colorado.
Courtesy

“When you’re starting a business, and when you’re fleshing out the ideas, you cannot be afraid to admit to yourself that what you’re doing is not good,” says Tom Snyder, creator and owner of Five On Black, a fast casual, health-oriented Brazilian-style restaurant that has locations in Montana and Colorado.

Today on "Can Do: Lessons from Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs," host Arnie Sherman talks with Tom, not yet thirty years old, about his business success and his plans for the future.

“If you act, you’ll either fail and learn, or you’ll succeed. Either one is productive and useful. If you don’t act, nothing happens.”

That’s Shane Beams, the owner and chief engineer of Vision Aerial, a Montana company focused on designing and producing a new generation of affordable, commercial unmanned drones.

On this episode of  Can Do: Lessons from Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs, Shane describes the trajectory of his business, and the trends and issues in the burgeoning drone industry.

The Scott family continues to run the publicly traded, 120 office, six state, $12 billion First Interstate Bank system out of Billings, Montana as if it was still a small town bank. On this episode of "Can Do," James Scott, Jr., grandson of First Interstate Bank founder Homer Scott and son of chairman James Scott, Sr., talks about the history of the bank, as well as who and what the bank finances and invests in, and how you can succeed in today's competitive landscape.

Nick Checota at the grand opening of the KettleHouse Amphitheater in Bonner, MT,
Josh Burnham

"It's not about glamour. It's not about being seen at the front door. It's not about hanging out with artists in the backroom. It's not about partying with customers. It's about being very transactional and very focused on your business. It's all business first"

That's Nick Checota, the owner and entertainment buyer for Logjam Presents and the manager, promoter and owner of Missoula's The Wilma Theater, Top Hat Lounge and the KettleHouse Amphitheater. Checota shares lessons he's learned building successful businesses in Montana, on this episode of "Can Do."

Danica Winters: archaeologist; award-winning writer; author of many published books and short stories; marketing and social media guru; founder of a digital publishing services company; sought-after speaker; wife; mother of two. If you think Danica sounds like a superwoman or the heroine of a Harlequin romance novel, you're right. Almost.

Winters is a Montanan and writer for Harlequin. She's a partner at Self Publishing Services, a company with 30 contract employees, and she runs her self-publishing empire from Frenchtown, Montana.

In this episode of "Can Do: Lessons From Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs," Danica Winters joins host Arnie Sherman to share lessons she learned as she developed her writing career and self-publishing service.

Can Do: How Edible Crickets Fuel This Montana Business

Sep 29, 2017
Cricket Cookie.
Courtesy Cowboy Cricket Farms

"It was during the time of the bug buffet at MSU. I was seeing all these people there having fun trying these insects, they were eating them. So went home and I said, 'James, I want to start a cricket farm,'" says Kathy Rolin. Kathy and her husband James founded Cowboy Cricket Farms.

Kathy and James Rolin join host Arnie Sherman to share lessons learned while building their edible cricket business in Belgrade, Montana, in this episode of "Can Do: Lessons From Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs."

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