Entrepreneurship Minor Benefits Local Company
Ben Ganser is a Bozeman native who made his way back home. He earned his business degree from Montana State University Bozeman College of Business and an MBA in finance from Portland State. He is now CFO for the family business, Corbond Corporation.
Corbond Corporation is a Bozeman company that began operations in 1984. It produces a unique building insulation that is challenging Owens Corning for industry position.
While pursuing his business degree from MSU, Ganser earned a minor in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management from the College of Business. The entrepreneurship program is set up in the college's Center for Entrepreneurship for the New West that is housed in TechRanch. "I like the idea of creating value from ideas. Entrepreneurship is the best to do that, Ganser said. "Montana needs people that create value and opportunity for others and I want to be one of those people."
It was not always Ganser's dream to be part of the family business. "I wanted to be an airline pilot," he said. "I am a commercial instrument rated pilot. The opportunities for a pilot are limited without a degree. I went back to school for business. While in my senior year I discovered that I liked the challenges that business had to offer more then flying."
Ganser is now able to apply his education and training at Corbond Corporation. One of his class projects at the Entrepreneurship Center was to enter a business plan competition with two classmates, Peter Stiller and Katja Alarve. "We wrote a business plan for a company that could mass produce customized clothing across multiple brands. The company was called "Simply My Size," Ganser explained. "We presented the plan in two competitions. In Missoula we earned third place from about twenty teams. Today I have written a business plan for Corbond and am presenting it to investors. The process is the same, the questions are the similar and I am not intimidated by talking to investors."
Ganser recently put his learned skills to test. He presented the Corbond Corporation business plan to a small group of local investors, The Bridger Private Capital Network (BPCN) hosted by TechRanch. BPCN meets with local businesses approximately every quarter. At these meetings, investors have the opportunity to interact with the company's principals and receive more details if interested. John O'Donnell, Executive Director of TechRanch, set up the meeting.
"BPCN is a network of sophisticated early stage private equity investors looking for attractive investment opportunities," O'Donnell said. "We help match opportunities with investors. An investor in Corbond may bring much more than capital to the company. The best investor will open up doors, bring in new business help improve management effectiveness."
O'Donnell knew Ganser was a graduate of the Entrepreneurship program and determined that Corbond Corporation was a good match for the BPCN. "I set up a meeting with Corbond due to Ben's status as a CENW alumnus. Ben and his father are extremely knowledgeable in their field of work. They operate a solid, well-established business, have a vast array of contacts, understand real opportunities that may arise, have real revenue and real customers, and know how to boot strap. All of these are very important to the BPCN investors," O'Donnell explained.
Ganser is happy to be back in Bozeman and enjoys his role as an entrepreneur to help Corbond Corporation grow. "Entrepreneurship is filled with risk stress and unknowns. It's not for everybody, but there are some people that need a daily dose on adrenaline." Judging by his presentation and involvement with the company, Ben Ganser is content to be considered an entrepreneur.