Contractor Communication Platform Contractor Sherpa Takes First Place in Missoula

Thank you to everyone who attended Startup Weekend Missoula 2014. From the organizers, to the coaches and judges everyone was impressed with the energy and ideas that you brought to the event. We look forward to many more successful Startup Weekend Missoula’s to come.

Startup Weekend Missoula 2014
Startup Weekend Missoula 2014

Congratulations 2014 Winners!

1st Place - Contractor Sherpa
1st Place – Contractor Sherpa renamed Construction Vault

1st Place: Contractor Sherpa originally provided a platform for homeowners and contractors to communicate on projects. Renamed Construction Vault in 2015 and pivoted to a platform to easily send estimates, invoices and receive payments for construction work.

2nd Place - TampOut
2nd Place – TampOut

2nd Place: TampOut is an organization that uplifts women educationally and economically, providing menstrual products to women and girls around the world who wouldn’t have access to them otherwise.

3rd Place - Cheeso
3rd Place – Cheeso

3rd Place: Cheeso is an autonomous robot that captures smiling faces to promote happiness around the world. Making memories effortless.

Recruiting: Find Your Next Employee At Startup Weekend

The traditional hiring process can be long and tedious and provide only a glimpse into a potential employee’s character. Recruiting new employees from Startup Weekend provides an opportunity for employers to locate quality candidates from a self-selected pool of individuals hungry for opportunity and often willing to start from the bottom. Whether you are participating in Startup Weekend as a registrant, coach, or volunteer; you will witness your potential employee’s expert skills in action as well as see how well they work in a group and how productive they are under pressure.

Fargo, North Dakota’s 2013 Startup Weekend gave startup Simply Made Apps the shot in the arm it needed to move to the next level and they wound up hiring two of their Startup Weekend team members into the company. Brooke Allen, a securities industry proprietary trader and hedge fund manager, took his top four candidates for assistant to Startup Weekend to see how they performed under pressure, then hired the best one. Allen advises to, “go beyond thinking of Startup Weekend as a place to launch a project but also a great place to troll for employees and jobs.” Locally, GCS has found an intern as a result of Startup Weekend Missoula 2013. GCS President and Founder, Alex Philp said, “GCS is honored to be a sponsor of Startup Weekend. Based upon our experience with Startup Weekend last year we see this as a great way of identifying Missoula’s best and brightest, supporting the launch of other high tech businesses, and helping to grow Missoula’s big data community.”

By engaging with coaches and teams of varying talents and backgrounds you can compare and calculate the benefits of various potential employees all weekend. Even though many of the participants have a goal of launching their own startup, other attendees go to Startup Weekend for the networking opportunities and to help out their team wherever needed. Whether you are in the market for a talented employee or your future co-founder, you are sure to find an abundance of prospects at Startup Weekend that, in an economy that is saturated with budding startups, have the talent and ambition that will make your company the 1 in 4 to succeed.



Guest Post by

Alex PhilpAlex Philp

Founder and VP of Business Development, Adelos Inc.

Alex Philp, Ph.D. is the founder of various advanced technology companies in Missoula, Montana, including GCS, Adelos and, most recently, TerraEchos. Currently serving as the Founder and President of GCS, Alex launched GCS as a spinout from NASA funded research and development in advanced geospatial information technology at The University of Montana. Dr. Philp received his Masters and Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Montana, combining interests in history, geography, ecology, and geospatial IT into comprehensive examinations of historical landscapes and how and why they change over time. Prior to attending the University of Montana where Alex currently serves as a Faculty Affiliate in the Dept. of Geography and the School of Business, he worked for the Lewis and Clark National Forest and as a Park Ranger in Glacier National Park. Alex’s undergraduate degrees were in Philosophy and History from Seattle University, graduating as a life long member of the National Jesuit Honor Society with a public commitment to scholarship, loyalty, and service. In addition to his service work in recognizing and rewarding excellence in student scholarship, Alex serves as a board member at Providence Western Montana Health Care System, The University of Montana School of Business Administration Advisory Board, and as an IBM Champion, evangelizing, lecturing, and speaking about advanced technology and interdisciplinary topics. Alex and his family reside in Missoula, Montana.

KIND Snacks Come To Startup Weekend Missoula

From the healthy snacks and foods we make, to our commitment to social entrepreneurship with impact, our focus is on making the world a little kinder, one act at a time. Our message of holistic kindness has been the foundation of KIND since day one, and continues each time we create a new snack or introduce a new social initiative. One simple, foundational belief underpins it all: There’s more to business than just profit.

It’s why we started the KIND Movement, why we believe the easier we make it for our community to surprise others with unexpected acts of kindness, the kinder our world will become. Big act or small, we encourage it – from writing a letter to someone who inspired you to planting thousands of trees to simply taking the time to say “thank you.”

Kind just launched a program that we are proud to share with you. Each month we are funding an idea that will help inspire kindness. This is open-submission so anyone can submit – winners are selected monthly by a public voting system.

Check out our site here and watch the video: You can submit an idea today.

Startup Weekend Missoula Hosts Area Entrepreneurs for a Crash Course in Creating a Business


Event Name: Startup Weekend Missoula
Event Dates: March 7-9, 2014
Event Location: Elks Lodge #383, 112 N Pattee St, Missoula, Mt 59802
Contact: Geoff Pepos, Co-Organizer
Phone Number: (406) 546-0351
E-mail Address:
Website Address:

What’s happening and who’s it for?

Missoula is set to host its second Startup Weekend from March 7 through the 9, 2014. Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers, and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups! Local CEOs, founders, startup veterans, attorneys, publishers, professors, and economic developers with entrepreneurship, investing, marketing, and technology expertise will be on hand to coach teams.

Alongside members from the local tech and entrepreneur communities, Startup Weekend Missoula will welcome a new kind of participant to the local event: students from Montana University System’s new Blackstone LaunchPad program. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation knows that entrepreneurship is the single most effective way to spur economic growth and job creation. Through the Blackstone LaunchPad, students will have access to an expanded universe of resources and years of institutional knowledge, helping them launch ventures that can take root locally and strengthen Montana’s economy.

“The opportunity to assemble your own startup dream team of peers to work on a common idea for a weekend was too good to pass up. The experience reinforced why I love working with startups,” says Colin Stoner who attended Startup Weekend Missoula 2013.

Said Startup Weekend Missoula coach Elke Govertsen of last years event, “The energy and momentum were palpable. To see that kind of collaborative potential made me excited for the future of Missoula and the entrepreneur startup ecosystem we are fostering.”

“When startup entrepreneurs come together, innovative ideas are launched” said Nathan Stephens who’s helping organize this, his third Startup Weekend in Montana.

Why attend a Startup Weekend event?

  • Education – learn by doing.
  • Build your network – meet talented entrepreneurs.
  • Co-founder dating – build your team.
  • Learn a new skill – flex your technical and business muscle.
  • Get face time with thought leaders – local leaders on tap.
  • Join a global community – over 45,000 alumni out to change the world.

How is it done?

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts. Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months. Roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend. (Statistics from

When and where is it?

The detailed Startup Weekend Missoula 2014 Schedule can be found online at The general hours of the event are Friday, March 7, 2014 from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.; Saturday, March 8, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday, March 9, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It will be held in downtown Missoula at the Elks Lodge, 112 N. Pattee St.

How can I sign up?

Interested parties can click on the orange “Register” link at the main website to sign up: Students tickets are offered at a discounted price and are limited. Registration includes pizza and caffeine Friday night as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner catered by Bravo! Catering and Market on Front.  Attendees will also receive a custom team t-shirt and exclusive Startup Weekend perks.

About our local sponsors

Thanks to our local sponsors Blackstone LaunchPad MSU; Blackstone LaunchPad UM; MonTec; GCS; Missoula Economic Partnership; Elks Lodge Post #383; Acuity Design; Content Monkeys; Goodworks Ventures, LLC;;  Boyle, Deveny, and Meyer, PC; Wilma Condo; Dorsey & Whitney, LLP;; Frontier Angel Fund, LLC; Market on Front;;; and

Sponsorship opportunities still available, please contact us.

ABOUT STARTUP WEEKEND: Startup Weekend is a program of UP Global along with NEXT, StartupDigest and Startup America. UP Global is a non-profit dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, grassroots leadership, and strong communities. UP Global is supported by Google for Entrepreneurs, Coca-Cola, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and the Case Foundation.

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