Montana State University

CNN, Christian Science Monitor note MSU's part in fostering new business

June 24, 2013 -- MSU News Service

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BOZEMAN -- Montana and Bozeman are receiving national media attention for fostering new businesses, and Montana State University is credited for playing a role in that.

CNN Money, for one, reported that people are more likely to launch businesses in Montana than any other state. Montana is now the top state for entrepreneurial activity, soaring from 17th place to first place on the annual Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. Not only is the booming Bakken oil field responsible, but so is the “growing technology hub in Bozeman where startups can find incubator space and funding opportunities at schools such as Montana State University.”

The Christian Science Monitor said towns in the Mountain West are luring a new generation because of their scenic beauty, and the hub of this “Green Coast” movement is Bozeman. The cover article by Todd Wilkinson included references to the contributions of MSU professor Trevor Douglas, MSU and TechLink. It also included comments by MSU alumnus/ U.S. Rep. Steve Daines.

Douglas, a Regents Professor in chemistry and biochemistry, was described in The Christian Science Monitor article as a lifestyle migrant from South Africa who is pioneering aspects of nanotechnology for use in artificial intelligence, medicine and information storage. The article said MSU, like colleges in many cities with high-tech corridors, helps spur commerce. Its faculty pulled in more than $100 million in research grants and contracts last year.

The article also pointed out that TechLink, an affiliate of MSU, works with companies trying to develop products based on intellectual capital and patents invented by federal agencies such as the Department of Defense. Between 2000 and 2011, TechLink helped facilitate the transfer of Defense Department technology nationwide, said Will Swearingen, director. He estimated that it had a total economic impact of $3 billion, supporting 17,800 jobs with 1,700 of those in Montana.

In news related to the workforce, the UCLA Anderson School of Management has ranked the Bozeman region sixth in the nation for human capital. Bozeman outperformed many areas such as Seattle, Boston-Cambridge, Mass., and Madison, Wis. The City Human Capital Index uses information from the U.S. Census Bureau, mostly based on educational attainment, to rank 520 metropolitan areas and 810 counties.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or evelynb@montana.edu