Building a Better Community Since 2007

Public Library opens new business center

Thursday Jan. 10th, 2019

The City of Bozeman Public Library and Economic Development Department are proud to announce a new business mentoring program available to the people of the Gallatin Valley. This initiative is made possible thanks to a new partnership between the Bozeman Public Library, the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by TechStars at Montana State University, and Bozeman’s Small Business Development Center.

Individuals interested in receiving a one-on-one session can visit the Business Center page on the Bozeman Public Library website to sign up for a 20 minute consultation. Meetings will occur in the Library’s second-floor computer lab on Tuesday afternoons from 1:00 to 3:00 pm starting on January 15th. SBDC and the Blackstone LaunchPad will be providing mentors with broad experience in business and startups. All services are offered free of charge.

“It’s exciting to see our services expanding into the world of business,” says Kit Stephenson, director of Adult Programming and Outreach at the Library “So many libraries around the nation have begun to offer new resources and programs to business owners, and the Bozeman Library will keep looking for more ways to support our local entrepreneurs.”

“Libraries are economic development,” says Brit Fontenot, Bozeman’s Economic Development Director.  “Libraries have large impacts on business development, job creation and workforce development in communities around the world. Hosting the Blackstone Launchpad and the Small Business Development Center at the Bozeman Public Library for office hours provides critical access to an entirely new population of entrepreneurs and solopreneurs in Bozeman.  I hope it’s the first of many library and economic development partnerships.”

The Blackstone LaunchPad is situated on MSU’s campus and provides venture coaching and resources to entrepreneurs. The LaunchPad is also a driving force behind local programs like 406 Labs, 1 Million Cups, and The Local Crowd Bozeman.
 
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), hosted by the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, is part of a nationwide network of centers created by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBDC in Bozeman is overseen by Tom Walker, who provides counselling and assistance to business owners.

General questions can be directed to Kit Stephenson at kstephenson@bozeman.net or Brit Fontenot at bfontenot@bozeman.net. Inquiries about the Blackstone LaunchPad should be sent to Connor Harbison at connor@msulaunchpad.org. Tom Walker of the SBDC can be contacted directly at thomas.walker5@montana.edu.