May 16, 2008



Dave Stoltenberg, Montana Business Incubator, 657-2138
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269 


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — A pair of workshops in June will help businesses engaged in new technology better connect to resources they can use to grow and develop.


The Montana Business Incubator at Montana State University Billings will co-sponsor in conjunction with the Montana Technology Innovation Partnership Program (MTIP) two workshops for individuals and companies engaged in developing and commercializing new technology.


The workshops are scheduled for Tuesday, June 3 at the Big Sky Economic Development Authority’s Yellowstone Conference Room, 222 N. 32nd St., in Billings. The sessions start at 8:30 a.m. and run through the morning. The cost for both workshops is $80 and pre-registration is encouraged.


Presented by John Balsam, President of John Balsam Associates LLC and consultant to the Montana Department of Commerce’s MTIP  Program, the two workshops will include a presentation on the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business technology Transfer (STTR) programs, followed immediately by a presentation titled “Improving Technology Commercialization Through Enhanced Market Research.”


Target audiences for the workshops include technology entrepreneurs, owners of existing technology companies, university-system researchers, and the many economic developers throughout the state who work with technology firms.


“Most people think of Montana as a state with an economy based only on agriculture and resource extraction,” said Dave Stoltenberg, director of the Montana Business Incubator. “However, there also are many vibrant technology-based businesses that make major contributions to job creation, higher-paying jobs, and an expanded tax base. These workshops will introduce technology developers to the SBIR and STTR funding programs for R&D, and then discuss how better early-stage market research can support the commercialization planning process.”


The workshops were developed through the Montana Department of Commerce’s Montana Technology Innovation Partnership (MTIP) program.


“Our SBIR and STTR workshops have always been popular, because these programs represent sources of substantial grant funding for the technology community, including researchers at non-profit research institutions like universities and hospitals,” said Linda Brander, manager of the MTIP program. “Only recently have we added the market-research topic to our lineup of workshops, recognizing the importance of early research in determining the best commercialization path.”


Sponsors of the workshops include the Montana Business Incubator, Montana Technology Innovation Partnership, Montana Department of Commerce, Billings’ Small Business Development Center, Yellowstone Economic Development, and MSU Billings.


The Montana Business Incubator (MBI) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 corporation created as a partnership between MSU Billings and the Big Sky Economic Development Authority for the purpose of fostering growth through entrepreneurship and innovation.  The MBI provides extensive assistance to startup technology companies in the areas of business planning, capitalization, and commercialization of innovation.  The MBI supports inventors and established companies with intellectual property management and commercialization services.


The Montana Technology Innovation Partnership (MTIP) program is an initiative of the Montana Department of Commerce that was created to promote technology commercialization as a viable economic development strategy for Montana.  Its mission is to help build the short-term benefits of technology research and development into the long-term rewards of economic development.


John Balsam Associates LLC supports the development, decision-making and growth of new and emerging enterprises by providing objective, high-quality research, analysis, and recommendations pertaining to prospective new technologies and technology ventures.  Through contracts with the Montana Department of Commerce, MSU TechLink, and directly with private clients, Balsam provides individualized assistance in the areas of feasibility and competitive analysis, market research, proposal development, and commercialization and business planning.


For more information on the workshops, contact Stoltenberg at (406) 657-2138 or e-mail him at


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