The high-tech scene in Missoula is as hot as it’s ever been, with large, well-established companies on hiring sprees and constantly expanding while new ones pop up seemingly every month.
Companies like Submittable, onXmaps, ClassPass, LumenAd and Cognizant-ATG collectively employ nearly a thousand workers in Missoula, and there are dozens of
smaller companies like Tomis and Alter Enterprise with high growth rates as well.
“Montana, and Missoula in particular, is an attractive place to do business, based on the local talent pool, quality of life we can offer our employees, readily available educational resources, and a thriving tech community,” explained Allen Shaheen, Cognizant’s executive vice president of North American digital hubs. Cognizant acquired ATG in 2019 and opened a new headquarters in the Old Sawmill District’s shiny modern office building called Cambium Place.
The Montana high-tech industry doubled its revenue to over $2 billion in 2019, and Missoula is home to a cluster of the companies that contributed to that boom.
Cognizant-ATG recently collaborated with the University of Montana on a program called “All-In-Missoula,” or AIM for short. It’s a technology consultant trainee program, and dozens of students in the 12-week program have been hired by
Tom Stergios, the senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at the company, said they other highly competitive wages.
“We’re certainly exceeding the state and county average,” he said after the first AIM class graduated and all 26 were hired.
According to a report from the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, the high-tech industry in Montana is growing nine times faster than the statewide economy and pays an average of roughly $65,000 per job.
Tech companies in Missoula are also landing record venture capital investments. In 2019, Submittable raised $10 million in a Series B investment round, one of the largest in state history. They now have well over 100 employees and are hiring constantly.
Company CEO Michael Fitzgerald said he and his co-founders were ambitious when they started in 2010.
“When we started, our stupid goal was to hire 500 people and be a cornerstone employer and keep the smartest kids here,” Fitzgerald said. “We obviously haven’t done that yet but we kind of demonstrated it was possible.”
For more information on Missoula’s high-tech scene visit the Montana High Tech Business Alliance at www.mthightech.org.