C2M beta
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The first of its kind in the region, C2M beta is an open innovation lab for tech startups located under Montana's Big Sky.

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the lab

C2M beta provides startups an opportunity to quickly build and deliver solutions for an already established customer base of nearly 20,000 residences, SMBs and enterprise companies, in partnership with tech leader Blackfoot. The open innovation lab assembles a customized multi-disciplinary team (including a coach) to support each startup and provide a combination of business, technical and project support, with a focus on using lean startup and agile methodologies. C2M beta also supports participants by providing access to Blackfoot's advanced broadband, wireless, cloud and data technologies as part of the open innovation experience.

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the cohort

The inaugural program will be comprised of inspiring tech startups with innovative solutions in healthcare, banking, telecommunications and media that leverage cloud, wireless, big data and analytics, IoT and AI technologies. The open innovation experience runs for six months, and is open to pre-seed and seed stage startups.

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the process

Once a quarter, startups are invited to participate in Open Innovation Sessions to get to know C2M beta and Blackfoot executive leadership, plus talk about their venture. From these sessions, a handful of startups are invited in to the cohort, a six-month experience working with C2M beta and Blackfoot to test their products in the marketplace. The capstone of the experience is an invite-only demo day, where startups present and meet with key decision makers from Blackfoot and its network.

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the ecosystem

Nestled among the mountains and rivers of Big Sky Country is a growing hotbed of technology startups. Annually recognized as a leader in entrepreneurship by the Kaufmann Foundation, Montana’s tech scene has started to attract the attention of outside capital. In 2017, $83 million in venture capital was deployed in Montana, a 3x increase from the previous seven years combined.

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the sponsor

Headquartered in beautiful Missoula, Montana, Blackfoot is the operator of the region's largest multi-gigabit network. C2M beta was launched in 2018 as part of Blackfoot's "smart growth" strategy, a decade-long commitment to deliver cutting-edge products to its customer base that spans 16 states.

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the leadership

Joe Fanguy joined Blackfoot as VP of Strategic Development and founder of C2M beta in 2018, bringing with him a wealth of experience in team building, commercialization and startups. To enhance the experience of the open innovation lab, Joe has assembled a seasoned group of industry experts, mentors, investors and entrepreneurs to join C2M beta.

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