If Bozeman residents were at one time hoping for their 15 minutes of fame and then falling back into obscurity, they will once again be disappointed. Recently, our area was featured and congratulated as a fine place to live in the October 2009 editions of both Entrepreneur Magazine and National Geographic Adventure magazine.
Entrepreneur Magazine included Montana State University and Bozeman is its Top 10 list which highlighted the benefits of towns teaming up with their local universities to help create unique entrepreneurial atmospheres where ideally college graduates would chose to stay after graduation and help to develop new economic opportunities. Montana State University (with a stated student enrollment of 12,764) introduced the Center for Entrepreneurship for the New West as part of the College of Business in 2001. Since its inception, over 250 students have worked with more than 40 firms in the Bozeman area for a total of over 10,000 hours of business analysis. It is a win-win situation in that companies benefit from the fresh perspectives and new skills that can be gleaned from the students, while forward thinking students start to obtain real world experience that preferably will entice them to stay in the area to work for local companies, or even found their own start up business.
Though showing improvement, the statistics are still in favor of “brain drain” as approximately half of MSU graduates are still leaving the state to start their careers. The other nine university-city combos include the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Madison, WI; the University of California-San Diego and San Diego, CA; Howard University and Washington, D.C.; Michigan State University and East Lansing, MI; DePaul University and Chicago, IL; the University of Colorado-Boulder and Boulder, CO; the University of Georgia-Athens and Athens, GA; and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Lincoln, NE. Each of these cities has worked hard to improve their economic viability by promoting biotech and research fields, melding science and business, and fostering entrepreneurial attitudes, among other things.
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