Montana Public Radio

entrepreneurship

On this "Episode of Can Do: Lessons from Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs," Michael Braun, professor of management and marketing at the University of Montana, discusses what young entrepreneurs need to know when starting a company in a technology-fueled industry.

Sweet Peaks co-founders Sam Dauenhauer and Marissa Keenan.
Courtesy Sweet Peaks

On this episode of "Can Do: Lessons from Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs:" Sweet Peaks Ice Cream co-founder Marissa Keenan explains how she and her husband Sam transformed an after-work hobby into a successful business.

Can Do: Giving Montana Artists An Opportunity To Grow

Apr 20, 2018

Paige Williams, founder and CEO of Audience Awards, launched her business by googling "how to start a tech business" five years ago. With three degrees, one in philosophy and two in the arts, she launched a company specializing in connecting aspiring filmmakers with sponsors, festivals and media outlets.

"At the end of the day what we are really doing is we are democratizing entertainment, we are giving everyone a chance to get discovered and we are letting the global audience say: 'This is what we love,'" Williams says.

Amazon.com box.
Mike Seyfang (CC-BY-2)

In the rapidly changing world of retail sales, Amazon.com and other online marketplaces are drastically reshaping the shopping world. Businesses are struggling to understand and adapt to this fastest growing segment of e-commerce. 

Today on "Can Do: Lessons from Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs" you'll hear from Peter Kearns, head of Client Solutions for 180Commerce. Peter is a former Amazon Marketplace leader who shares his experience working with hundreds of sellers generating $300 million and counting in online sales.

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.

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.

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