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Businesses old and new reflect on challenges and growing Montana

Posted at 10:28 AM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 12:28:33-04

BOZEMAN - Starting a new business isn't an easy feat. Foothold, a business that began in 2021 and Montana Instruments founded 12 years ago, are still navigating the growing pains, and the opportunity to build and grow in Montana.

In 2020 it was a spark of inspiration that inspired Hannah Van Wetter to create Foothold, a business that builds prefabricated homes offsite.

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In 2020 it was a spark of inspiration that inspired Hannah Van Wetter to create Foothold, a business that builds prefabricated homes offsite.

“It's a business that I actually started thinking about in 2020,” says Van Wetter.

Foothold started as an idea to find a way to make building homes easier.

“Housing is a central pillar of a stable community,” says Van Wetter.

Even as a new business comes with its own learning hurdles, the pandemic and the supply chain has thrown more hurdles at Van Wetter than she ever imagined .

“You know, we still probably take three steps back and maybe one step forward,” says Van Wetter.

Being founded in the Gallatin Valley and with the housing crisis looming she hopes that she can be a part of a fix.

“It's more than coming up with a silver bullet, that's going to fix all of Bozeman’s housing problems, which Foothold is not. What we have tried to do, when you have a problem with housing, you build a house,” says Van Wetter.

In a year that has been dominated by supply chain issues Montana Instruments also has also had its fair share of navigating the world. Building Cryogenics, taking a small machine and replicating temperatures as cold as space to slow down and break down atoms.

The supply chain disruption has thrown some hurdles to a company with 12 years under their belt.

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For Luke Mauritsen who founded Montana Instruments, it started with a dream 12 years ago.

For Luke Mauritsen who founded Montana Instruments it started with a dream 12 years ago.

“We were like a group of kids that just came in there and just re-thought the ground up,”says Mauritsen. “Montana is a great place to start a business- if you have and do what you love then everything else is great here.”

As he reflects on the last 12 years: “I always had the feeling like I didn't know what I was doing, because we were moving so fast, and so always being pushed up to new levels,” says Mauritsen.