Calendar of Events

April 2017


Power Up: Create Your Business, Financials, and Marketing Plan - April 2017
04/05/17 9:00 AM to 04/19/17 12:00 PM

Montana WBC logoSBDC Logo      

Prospera Business Network and MT Women's Business Center present: 

Power Up: Create Your Business, Financial, and Marketing Plan - CLASS IS FULL. REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

This course consists of three classes (April 5th, 12th, 19th). Class meets every Wednesday for three weeks, starting April 5, 2017.

Class is 9:00am-noon

Class will be held at:
Foundant Technologies
143 Willow Peak Dr.
Bozeman, MT 59718

Registration: $150 for Prospera Members, $175 non members. This registration amount covers all three class days.
$75 for a second attendee (business partner)  

This course has specifically been designed for individuals who are brand new to business, wanting to start a business, and new business owners or individuals looking to start a second business.

What you will learn:

- Clarity and fresh perspective about starting a new business

- Solid first draft of your Business Plan

- In-depth understanding of your industry and competition

- Documented sales projections and marketing strategy based on industry research & geography

- Projected cash flow for one year

- Shared experience with other local entrepreneurs and subject matter experts

- Valuable resources and processes that support your business planning journey

*Due to high demand for business counseling services, the MWBC requires individuals looking into starting a brand new business or business owners who have been "in business" less than six months, to complete this course prior to scheduling a one-on-one counseling appointment.


Charitable Support from: 
First Security Bank Foundation

SBA Logo

The Montana Women’s Business Center is a program of Prospera Business Network and is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Send-Off Party for Drew Little
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Prospera Business Network presents: 

Send-Off Party for Drew Little

Friday, April 28th 

Dry Hills Distillery
106 Village Center Lane, Four Corners

No-host drinks, light snacks provided.

RSVP here

After five years with Prospera serving in a variety of roles, Drew will be stepping down as Program Director at the end of April to relocate to Helena. This informal celebration will give Drew a chance to connect with the exceptional people that have made her time with Prospera so rewarding.

Business Tours

April Women-Owned Business Tour - Big Sky
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Montana WBC logo

Montana Women’s Business Center Presents: 

Women-Owned Business Tour - Big Sky

featuring businesses in Big Sky

Join us for a walking business tour of women-owned businesses in Big Sky. Each business owner will share her experience with starting, operating and growing her business and there will be time for networking and shopping.

Thursday April 13, 2017 

9:00am meet at Prospera for carpooling to Big Sky

10:00am meet at The Trove West in Big Sky

10:45am Tour of Healing Hands Chiropractic

11:15am Workout with Jolene at Big Sky Fitness Fusion

12:00pm Optional Lunch (no host)




SBA Logo

The Montana Women’s Business Center is a program of Prospera Business Network and is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Prospera Business Network at  (406) 587-3113 to make arrangements.

Montana Women's Business Center Trainings

Fwd. Business Series Training: Get Lean! Make Your Business More Efficient, Livingston
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Prospera's Montana Women’s Business Center in conjunction with MSU Park County Extension and Livingston Job Service present: 

Fwd. Business Series Training:
Get Lean! Make Your Business More Efficient

Tuesday, April 18

The Spurline
1370 Hwy 10 W, Livingston

Registration: $25 


Meagan Lannan, Livingston Job Service

Larry Stephenson, Independent Business Consultant

Are you looking for ways to reduce your costs, increase your outputs, and improve employee morale? Join us for this interactive workshop that will cover the basics of Lean leadership and planning. Lean Manufacturing, an overall process made up of many sub-processes that can be explored, implemented, and maintained to weed out wastes that cost time and money, has its roots in the auto industry. 
• SORT: Manage and save space, time, and money more effectively
• SET IN ORDER: Arrange needed items so they are easy to use
• SHINE: Keep everything, every day tidy and clean
• STANDARDIZE: Puts the first 3-S’s together; a standard system
• SUSTAIN: Make a habit; commitment; track the impact

Benefits are increases in quality, decrease in costs, promotion of safety, and overall reductions in work-arounds and time wastes! 

The value of continuous improvement has now been discovered in all industries- come and find out how these principles can help strengthen and grow your business.

SBA Logo
The Montana Women’s Business Center is a program of Prospera Business Network and is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Drew Little at (406) 587-3113 to make arrangements.

The Montana State University Extension Service is an ADA/EO/AA/Veteran's Preference Employer and Provider of Educational Outreach.

President's Circle

Montana’s Emerging Photonics Industry
4:30 PM to 6:00 PM

Prospera Business Network presents a President's Circle event: 

Montana’s Emerging Photonics Industry

A live demonstration of optics technology and industry updates with:
Jason Yager, General Manager, Laser Damage Testing & Production Manager, Quantel USA
Trenton Berg, Photonics and Laser Technology Program Director, Gallatin College - MSU

Wednesday, April 5th

Hosted by Rocky Mountain Bank
Gallatin Valley Mall, 2901 West Main Street, Bozeman, MT

Registration: $25 for Prospera Members, includes light refreshments.
Please register by Thursday, March 30th.



Join us as we reintroduce Prospera's President’s Circle event series with an interactive evening focused on one of the region's most intriguing but least understood industries - optics and photonics. In this event, the presenters will describe and demonstrate the exciting and rapidly growing photonics industry and discuss its critical importance as an enabling technology for the 21st century. In addition, our presenters will discuss how Bozeman is rapidly becoming one of the recognized global leaders in the optics and photonics industry.

The new end-of-day social format will include top tier networking, a brief presentation, and time for questions and answers.

Please note that President's Circle events are exclusive to representatives from Prospera's upper level (Partner, Executive, Community Leader, and Economic Partner) members. Contact Emilie Saunders, Membership & Fundraising Director at 406-587-3113 or with any questions.


4:30 - 5:15pm - Arrivals & Networking
5:15 - 5:20pm - Welcome Remarks
5:20 - 5:45pm - Presentation & Q&A
5:45 - 6:00pm - Networking & Rocky Mountain Bank Giveaway Drawing


Jason Yager, General Manager, Laser Damage Testing & Production Manager, Quantel USA

As a graduate of Montana State University with a MS in Physics, Jason has worked in the photonics community for over 20 year’s right here in the Gallatin Valley.  During this time he has worked as an Operations Manager, Sr. Engineering Manager, Product Line Manager, and most recently as Quantel-USA’s Production Manager.  Currently, he is serving as a board member to the Montana Photonics Industry Alliance, along with serving on the board of the Gallatin Valley American Youth Soccer Association as their coaching administer.  Jason is a native of Montana, an avid outdoorsman competing in triathlons, MTB races, and coaches youth soccer.


Trenton Berg, Photonics and Laser Technology Program Director, Gallatin College - MSU

Trenton has worked in the Photonics industry in Bozeman for 12+ years and has helped startup several photonics based small businesses in the Gallatin Valley. Most recently, Trenton is a co-founder of Blackmore Sensors and Analytics and currently serves there as a Senior Hardware Engineer while maintaining the Program Director and Lead Professor position for the Photonics and Laser Technology A.A.S program at Gallatin College – MSU. Trenton is an active member of the local photonics community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Montana Photonics Industry Alliance (MPIA) to help foster the growth of photonics in Montana.


Prospera Recommends

SME Lean Bronze Certification in 10 Weeks
03/01/17 8:00 AM to 05/03/17 5:00 PM

MSU Montana Manufacturing Extension Center presents:

SME Lean Bronze Certification in 10 Weeks 

March 1 - May 3, 2017 
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Wed

MMEC Conference Room, Bozeman

Cultivate Lean Experts Within Your Organization! 

10- week Lean Bronze training course, utilizing both in-classroom and on-site instruction and exercises, and culminating in an online exam to earn a Lean Bronze certificate.

In addition, The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Lean Enterprise Certification Program (LECP) course will give you and your employees opportunity to:

  • Attain valuable skills recognized across the industry.
  • Share and gain Lean knowledge through mentoring with other company leaders.
  • Help weed out the Deadly Wastes that equate to D-O-W-N-T-I-M-E.
  • Earn a nationally recognized Lean Bronze credential with an SME standards exam.
  • Become "World Class" through high value workforce training.
  • Experience first applications at local manufacturing firms 


To attain an SME Lean Bronze Certificate each participant must complete 80 hours of education and training. This course includes required readings where specific Core Reference Materials are gleaned for the exam, and practice exams will be given to help prepare you and keep you on course. 


MMEC delivers the training and proctors the exam for up to twenty participants (may be from a mix of firms). In addition to classroom instruction, a minimum of 15 practical hours are designed to have participants apply their training to help identify and address improvement opportunities at a host organization, pre-arranged through MMEC. Participation by multiple staff is encouraged to enrich classroom interactions and increase the implementation success back at your home facility.

Participants will be given reading assignments (see books needed below) and homework questions for sessions 2 - 8. Sessions 3 – 9 will have quizzes for previously covered material. Practice exams will be given and reviewed to help prepare participants for the SME final exam. Full participation is expected. The cost of the exam is NOT included in the tuition fee.

View course agenda


$2500 per person, including 9 full-day training sessions, hands-on practical experience at various sites, practice exams and review.  Refreshments and lunches will also be provided.

REGISTRATION FOR THE ONLINE EXAM IS NOT INCLUDED, AND NO PAPER EXAM WILL BE GIVEN. Class participants will be responsible for their own online exam registration.                    


Be in the Five:Montana Business Owners Exit Planning and Value Acceleration Program
04/07/17 12:00 PM to 05/16/17 4:00 PM

Strategic Value Advisors, Montana Manufacturing Extension Center & Rocky Mountain Bank present:

Be in the Five:Montana Business Owners Exit Planning and Value Acceleration Program

Webinar Series & Half-day Capstone Workshop 
April 7 - May 16, 2017

Online webinars, Capstone Workshop at MMEC Conference Room, 2310 University Way, Bldg. 2, Bozeman

Cost: $995


Business owners typically have 80-90% of their wealth tied up in their businesses, and every owner will eventually exit. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a question of when and how. Unfortunately, exits frequently result from death, disability, disaster, divorce and disagreements. Owners who wish to avoid those scenarios, and exit on their own terms and at a time of their choosing, need a comprehensive exit plan for personal, financial and business success.

The odds of unaided success are not favorable, however. Approximately 80% of business owners seeking to sell their businesses as going concerns fail to do so, and it’s not rosy for owners of the 20% which do sell. Twelve months after selling, 3 out of 4 business owners responding to the 2016 Exit Planning Institute’s (EPI) State of Owner Readiness Survey “profoundly regretted” the decision. This means that a meager 5% of business owners are likely to successfully sell their businesses and not be very disappointed. The EPI also reports that business owners’ unrealistic expectations of company value are by far the biggest obstacle to sale or transfer.

Face these facts, and learn what it takes to achieve a successful exit from the business that is the culmination of your life’s work. Join Sean Hutchinson, CEO of Strategic Value Advisors, Alistair Stewart, Senior Business Advisor at the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, and Rocky Mountain Bank for a series of four Webinars and a 1/2 -day Capstone Workshop to arm yourself with actionable insights, a game plan to maximize value, and to “Be In The Five”.

ASTRA WBE Economic Development Summit
11:00 AM to 7:00 PM

ASTRA WBE Economic Development Summit 

April 19, 2017

11:00 A.M. - 7:00P.M.

Montana State University Stadium Club
Bozeman, Montana

Join us at the Montana WBE Economic Development Summit and stake your ground in the new business frontier on April 19th at Montana State University Stadium Club.
Montana, the untapped frontier for women-owned business, is an incredibly entrepreneurial state where small businesses thrive. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, about one quarter of all Montana businesses are owned by women. The economy offers significant economic opportunities in oil, gas, coal and hard rock mining, lumber, and the fastest-growing sector, tourism.  Health care services, and government sectors also are significant to the state’s economy.

Come and meet with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Payne West Insurance, Xanterra, Conduent, U.S. Bank, Enterprise Holdings, Malmstrom Airforce Base, Dept of Transportation, Dept of Commerce, SBA, and more.

Cost: $75 per person, includes lunch, reception and workshop materials. Registration deadline is April 14, 2017. Register here

Bozeman Daily Chronicle B2B Networking Luncheon: April
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM

The Bozeman Daily Chronical presents:

Monthly B2B Networking Luncheon

Monday, April 24 
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Hilton Garden Inn, Bozeman

$35 reserved, included lunch · $40 at the door · $295 table of 10

A six-luncheon series featuring vibrant speakers, engaging networking, various awards and drawings for prizes in a fun, collegial atmosphere. The featured topic of this month will be "Meet Leon Costello, the new MSU Athletic Director".

Seating is limited! Deadline to register is one week prior to event. Questions or waiting list requests? Contact or 406-582-2626.

Learn more and see the full series calendar here