Economic Outlook Seminar Headed To Nine Montana Cities

January 07, 2014

MISSOULA – RightNow Technologies was founded in 1997 in a spare bedroom in Bozeman. By the time the company was acquired by Oracle in 2012 for more than $1.8 billion, RightNow was Bozeman’s largest commercial employer and the only publicly traded technology company in the state.

Greg Gianforte, founder of RightNow Technologies, will give a firsthand account of this Montana success story at the 39th Annual Montana Economic Outlook Seminar, “Making Montana the First Best Place: How Entrepreneurship is Creating High-Paying Jobs.”

This half-day seminar and luncheon will highlight economic trends for local, state and national economies. UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research economists Patrick Barkey and Paul Polzin will present economic forecasts for each seminar city, and industry experts will provide the outlook for Montana’s important sectors: energy, nonresident travel, health care, agriculture, real estate, manufacturing and forest products.

The seminar runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be held in nine Montana cities during January, February and March. Registration costs $80, which includes a booklet, lunch and a one-year subscription to Montana Business Quarterly, BBER’s award-winning business journal. Continuing education credits are available, and groups of five or more qualify for discounted registration.

The series begins in Helena on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the Best Western Great Northern Hotel. Following is the schedule for other seminar cities:

  • Great Falls – Wednesday, Jan. 29, Hilton Garden Inn
  • Missoula – Friday, Jan. 31, Hilton Garden Inn
  • Billings – Tuesday, Feb. 4, Crowne Plaza
  • Bozeman – Wednesday, Feb. 5, Best Western GranTree
  • Butte – Thursday, Feb. 6, La Quinta Inn
  • Kalispell – Friday, Feb. 14, Hilton Garden Inn
  • Lewistown – Tuesday, March 11, Central Montana Education Center
  • Havre – Wednesday, March 12, Montana State University-Northern, Hensler Auditorium.

RightNow has led to a new generation of Montana technology startups. It had more than 1,100 employees, with half of them in Bozeman and more than 40 percent of those employees were graduates of the Montana University System. Their average Montana wage was $86,000, more than double the state average.

The 2014 Montana Economic Outlook Seminars are sponsored by NorthWestern Energy, Benefis Health System, Pacific Steel and Recycling and Montana Health CO-OP.

For more information or to register for a seminar, visit BBER online at or call 406-243-5113.






Contact: Christina Henderson, UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research, 406-243-5113,