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Growing Montana's Makers: A Celebration of Innovation, Education, and Creativity

Growing Montana’s Makers

'A Celebration of Innovation, Education, and Creativity'

As part of the Innovate Montana Symposium, you will hear all about the experiences of Montana entrepreneurs.  You’re going to find out how these Montanans were able to become big fish in a small pond. They have made names for themselves nationwide, invigorated our economy, made Montana the top US state for entrepreneurs, and defied all stereotypes and odds.

So what about the future of entrepreneurship in Montana?

We will tell you about the future at Growing Montana’s Makers. No, we won’t have a crystal ball but we will have the makers, hackers, planners, and students who are paving the path forward. Growing Montana’s Makers will be held at the Northern Hotel on Wednesday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  It will be free to the public, let me say that again FREE TO THE PUBLIC, with a full day’s worth of activities and talks. Featuring CEO of Goldieblox Debbie Sterling and Governor Steve Bullock, Downtown Billings Battle of the Plans, Billings Girls in Science, SCRAP Billings, and so many more!

You’re going to want to come because you will get a glimpse of the world as it will be in 5, 10, and 20 years from now. You might also come because you can meet Debbie Sterling, Governor Bullock, and other major Montana leaders. Hey, whatever we can do to entice you! Let me tell you a bit about what we will be doing.

Makerspaces/Hackerspaces: Who they are and how they work in Montana 10am-4pm

Ever heard of a hackerspace? How about a makerspace? Makerspaces (or hackerspaces/ innovation labs/fablabs) are creative, DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. They often have 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies and tools, and more.  They have allowed countless people to put their ideas into motion.  Montana has a variety of maker and hacker spaces throughout the state and they will be coming together for one day only to share their knowledge about starting these creative spaces. They will have short presentations throughout the day and be available to speak to you one-on-one about how they set up their makerspaces/hackerspaces, who uses them, and what the growth plans are for these spaces throughout the day, so you should definitely swing by whenever you can!

Collegiate Entrepreneurship: Downtown Billings Battle of the Plans 11am-11:30am


As sad as I know you will be to hear this, our CEOs and entrepreneurs will not remain CEOs and lead entrepreneurs forever.  You need not despair, though—we have plenty of up-and-coming entrepreneurs who will be entering the workforce in the very near future. Some of Montana’s brightest college students have already developed business plans and will be show-casing their work right here in Billings! These crème-del-a-crème business students are finalists at the Downtown Billings Battle of the Plans, which is put on by the Downtown Billings Alliance and the Big Sky Economic Development. These young adults are going places and are taking Montana with them! Come meet the soon-to-be entrepreneurs and see what businesses will be cropping up in the near future!

Kids and Education: Growing the next generation of Montana’s entrepreneurs 10am-4pm

Not only do we have some top-notch college students entering the entrepreneurial scene here very shortly, but teams of students are already developing technology and marketing plans as early as kindergarten! Kids these days, right?! Montana boasts and impressive array of talented students and teams ranging from an award-winning high school team constructing an F1 formula car to a kindergarten team that uses STEM concepts in design and force! STEM groups from across Montana will be displaying their projects all day with a special afternoon presentation and discussion with Debbie Sterling, CEO of Goldieblox, and Governor Steve Bullock at 2:30pm

Importance of STEM Education: Discussion with Governor Bullock and Debbie Sterling, CEO of GoldieBlox 2:30pm-3:30pm

Debbie Sterling is the Founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, an award winning company on a mission to "disrupt the pink aisle" with toys, games, and media for girls. Debbie is an engineer, entrepreneur, and one of the leaders in the movement toward getting girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. She was named TIME’s "Person of the Moment,” Business Insider’s "30 Women Who Are Changing the World,” and was recently added to Fortune Magazine’s prestigious “40 Under 40” list. In early 2015, Debbie was inducted as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship and honored by the National Women’s History Museum with a “Living Legacy” Award for her work to empower girls around the world. Debbie received her degree in Engineering at Stanford University in 2005 and currently lives with her husband in San Francisco.

If you go:

What: Growing Montana’s Makers

When: Wednesday July 13, 10am -4pm

Where: Northern Hotel Ballroom, Billings, MT

Cost: FREE! Open to the public

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Author: cg0137 STATE
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