Venture Network group looks to help entrepreneurs with successful startups

Montana Venture Network panel speakers (from left) J.R. Lund, owner of Rockin’ L Genetics, Tammy Eckhart, owner of Lewistown’s Sew Pieceful, and Sarah Kolar, owner Red Rover Pet Boarding, answer questions on starting successful businesses.

Photo courtesy of the Abby Majerus

The Heart of Montana Venture Network held its final meeting of 2016, on Wednesday Dec. 7.  This meeting featured an entrepreneurial panel focused on business start-ups, both the risks and rewards, and plenty of advice.  

Members of the panel included Sarah Kolar, owner and operator of Red Rover Pet Boarding; J.R. Lund, owner of Rockin’ L Genetics; and Tammy Eckhart, owner of Lewistown’s Sew Pieceful, whose gorgeous new business was also the setting for the meeting.

The panel answered questions from the crowd on everything from the hardest part of starting a business to the best way to gain insight before jumping into starting your own endeavor.  Dustin Kalanick from the Montana Preservation Alliance was also on hand to discuss the Broadway Building and hear what community members would like to see happen with the building.

The venture network is an entrepreneurial and small business-minded group that grew from the Leadership Central Montana class in 2015. The goal of the group is to engage those interested in entrepreneurship or starting a business. The group meets quarterly to hear from those who have been through the process of starting their own business, and from those in support positions to business start-ups, such as bankers and city commissioners.  

Networking is a huge part of the group and maintaining a “give before you get” mentality ensures that everyone participating is there to help out and see dreams come to fruition.  Going forward, the venture network plans to continue to hold meetings quarterly, but would like to use 2017 as a year of action, to see ideas blossom and eventually turn into businesses and jobs within our community.  

For more information about Heart of Montana Venture Network, find us on Facebook or contact members at



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