All great businesses begin with an idea, but it takes engineering and product development to turn an idea into a reality. That’s where Salient Technologies, Inc. comes in.
Salient Technologies, Inc. provides “product design from inspiration to production,” and by all accounts there is no shortage of inspiration coming from entrepreneurs in the Gallatin Valley of Southwest Montana. Since meeting as students in Montana State University’s Mechanical Engineering program in 1998, Salient’s directors, Stephen Sanford and David Yakos, have developed thousands of projects, helping inventors through the three main phases of product development: turning an idea into an industrial design sketch, followed by a prototype, and finally machining and molding when the product is ready for the open market.
The company specializes in consumer product design, 3D conceptual design, marketing renderings and animations, rapid prototyping, analysis, and design for manufacturing. In less than two decades, Salient has developed thousands of products from pediatric wheelchairs to award-winning, environmentally friendly pet toys; from breakthrough cryogenic valve technology highlighted in NASA Spinoff Magazine to a welding helmet that garnered a Popular Science Best Prototype of 2013. Also in 2013, Salient capitalized on the experience gained from working with southwest Montana’s medical industry sector to expand operations with a Medical Device Division. With the expansion Salient will be covering all of the steps in a much longer design cycle to ensure their clients comply the FDA’s tight regulations. Primary services range from laying out a regulatory pathway and guiding small businesses through medical direction, to quality assurance guidance and clinical trials.
“It’s pretty amazing, the level of talent that lands here. We have access to an awesome support system, and a strong tech transfer community that benefits entrepreneur”
Sanford points to their medical device division as an advantage to the local companies they work with: “The steps to develop medical devices are more involved. Finding a product development firm specializing in this type of service can be cost prohibitive, particularly when companies would otherwise need to work with a company on either coast.”
In addition to their roles as entrepreneurs and business owners, Sanford and Yakos are fully invested members of the Bozeman Community. Salient values creativity in their designs, so employees are encouraged to be active in the community and cultivate other creative outlets. They also find time to enjoy the outdoor recreational pursuits like skiing, fishing, and biking that they believe help them recruit and retain talented team members.
“It’s pretty amazing, the level of talent that lands here. We have access to an awesome support system, and a strong tech transfer community that benefits entrepreneurs.”