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5 Montana Startups To Watch in 2016

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Montana may still be a rural state, but we have more than our fair share of startups disrupting antiquated systems and building new technologies.

At Edge Marketing + Design, we like to keep our eyes peeled for companies that do amazing things. We enjoy watching them work, marvel at their ability and learn from their journey.

We have put together a short list of companies that will take the internet by storm in 2016. We hope you will enjoy watching them succeed as much as we will.

1. GEOFLI

This Missoula based startup makes it ridiculously easy to target audiences by geographic area. No coding skills required.

Why is this a company to watch?

Automated targeting is the rage in online sales. Imagine you run a relocation website for a town in Montana. GEOFLI can help you serve custom content to a site visitor from California and altogether different content for a site visitor from another town in Montana.

Last year the company took third place in the John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge. They have been spending their time helping Universities serve up targeted content to potential students based upon their hometown.

In the not so distant future, web users will expect website content to be tailored to their needs, which means that webmasters, marketers and anyone that cares about their website experience will be searching for easy to implement solutions. Montana’s own GEOFLI will be on the leading edge of the movement.

GEOFLI.COM

2. Hunt The Wild West

Helena based startup HuntTheWildWest.com is an “internet shaming” free zone for sportsman to share their love of the great outdoors.

Too often hunters are encountering rude comments or outright opposition to their posts on Facebook. This friction has created an opportunity for Hunt The Wild West.

Why is this a company to watch?

If we have learned anything from the Internet over the last year, it is that publicly shaming people you disagree with has become mainstream. From Presidential candidate twitter accounts to Facebook rants; Internet shaming appears here to stay.

Hunt The Wild West was started by a Helena High School senior with a passion for the outdoors. It allows sportsman to share pictures, stories and experiences with friends and family in a forum safe from the critical comments that might be encountered on other social media forums.

The company’s plan is to appeal to young hunters and build a loyal following as they age and record hunts.

Though the site is barely six months old, they are already in the process of expanding to other Western states. They have also built out a virtual trophy room and opened up an affiliate program to hunting related brands and outfitters.

Just wait until opening day gets closer!

HuntTheWildWest.com
(Disclosure: Edge has worked on this beautiful website)

3. DropTrip

In many ways the “on demand” economy hasn’t yet reached rural America. We don’t have much of a chance of hailing Uber. Amazon has same day delivery? Surely, you jest.

Montana’s wide-open spaces make for a great place to live, but crowdsourcing can be challenging. That hasn’t deterred DropTrip from basing their crowdsourced shipping company in Bozeman.

DropTrip offers a vetted team of travelers that are available to deliver packages for you – courier style.

Why is this a company to watch?

DropTrip has been building their infrastructure for a couple of years, officially launched a beta in February of 2015. New disruptive marketplaces aren’t built overnight, but it is clear that the skills behind this team are top notch.

The company now has a fleet of pre-screened drivers that are traveling the countryside. They also offer insurance to protect package owners from any potential courier misconduct.

Marketplaces like this have a way of building on themselves. The more people use it, the more helpful it becomes. Now that DropTrip has its fleet of travelers at the ready, we see it becoming a viable courier service alternative in 2016.

DropTrip.com

4. Legit Supplements

Montana’s newest startup is Kalispell based Legit Supplements, a subscription service that officially launched on April 12th.

Legit Supplements offers packages of up to 4 products for gym rats, health nuts and even normal people interested in living a healthier lifestyle.

Why Is This A Company To Watch?

Over half of American adults use some sort of nutritional supplement, which is now a $30 billion/year industry.

It’s a huge market, but incredibly competitive.

So, how do you set your company apart from the ocean of competitors trying to capture the market? First you build an outstanding product. Since Legit Supplements is built by Montanans we can all rest assured that they have great quality control.

The second thing you need is an impeccable marketing strategy. Fortunately for Legit Supplements, they are absolutely killing it. The company’s hilarious, yet effective videos show an understanding of their clients and an amazing self-awareness. The videos have helped them to develop an astounding 30,000 Facebook followers prelaunch!

Legit Supplements understands their target customer, developed a sought after product and is serving up highly effective marketing content. 2016 is going to be a year to remember for this company.

LegitSupplements.com

5. CowTech Engineering

Big Timber based CowTech Engineering is helping 3-D printing DIYers produce products faster and cheaper than ever before.

Why Is This A Company To Watch?

When it comes to 3-D printing, the possibilities are endless. Those of you that are fellow nerds at heart will likely have watched youtube videos of avid DIYers 3-D printing braces, toys and even houses!

The real problem with 3-D printing is that is seems like technology for other people. It is incredibly technical and often requires a 3-D scanner be pair with the printer.

Who has $5,000 or $10,000 to spend on a printer/scanner package?

Enter CowTech Engineering and their $99 Cyclops scanner. The Cyclops is an affordable, reliable, open sourced machine that produces better scans than most products on the market – even those selling for 10X the price.

The team over at CowTech recently just closed an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign that grossed a stunning $183,000 and 1,400 backers!

Kickstarter campaigns are anything but easy. Closing out such s successful campaign is reason enough to want to follow this company. However, the Kickstarter really does seem like it is just a first step. CowTech appears to be very comfortable developing highly technical hardware.

It is going to be fun to watch this company develop.

CowTech’s Kickstarter campaign has finished, but you can still pre-order the Cyclops through their website for $119.

CowTech Engineering

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