Published May 1, 2006 | May 2006 issue
The state's latest attempt to attract venture capital to Montana ended in March, casting doubt on government's intent to use the fund to jump-start business investment in the state. Citing a lack of interest from potential investors, an investment banking firm withdrew from a $40 million venture campaign backed by the Montana Board of Investments.
The board contracted with Credit Suisse First Boston in 2004 to raise $15 million to invest in business start-ups in Montana and eight other western states. The money would have supplemented a board stake of $25 million in public pension funds. But the firm failed to drum up interest from corporations, banks, wealthy individuals and other investors. Similar efforts to spark venture capital investment foundered in the 2003 and 2005 legislative sessions.
Venture capital routinely ignores the Treasure State. Of 2,900 venture deals signed in the United States last year, only two were in Montana.