Rocky Mountain High Tech: Geoforce in Bozeman, Montana

The Geoforce Bozeman office is to the immediate left of this picture.

Satellite Technology Design in the Heart of the Rockies

Last year, Geoforce acquired Sypes Canyon Communications in Bozeman, Montana, and with it came a world-leading satellite technology and design capability.   For most people, Bozeman is purely a vacation destination – as it was for me in 1995 – the gateway to Yellowstone, Big Sky and outdoor adventure.   Then one day, about ten years ago, my future business partner and friend called and asked “Would you ever consider living and working in Montana?” My first thought was, “Yes!” My second thought was, “Wait, what – you want to build a high tech business that serves the federal and state governments – in Montana?!!” The rest, as they say, is history.   What I soon discovered is that the quiet and distant world of the Rocky Mountains is a hotbed of technology, education and entrepreneurship, and Bozeman represents what a small town can offer and achieve. With the massive boom in oil and gas going on, it’s the perfect place to house our company’s hardware development office.

Starting with Montana State University, Geoforce-Bozeman has taken full advantage of its location to source all its engineers locally from MSU’s engineering program. This in large part because MSU is home to one of the most successful university satellite design programs (CubeSat) in the world and one of the most successful research grant programs in the country, which all leads to an availability of great employees, consultants, technicians, interns and sometimes even low cost facilities.

With an adult population of 50+% with four-year college degrees, and a strong economy, Bozeman is home to many micro and small size businesses. Studies by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research show that the “Inter Mountain region” has had the highest rate of job growth in the US over the past 10 years. Montana itself is rated. And that’s great for us, because it means more and better companies, close by.   For Geoforce, the concept of “local” expands beyond Bozeman and beyond our headquarters in Dallas. Here at Geoforce, our decades of experience in manufacturing for the oilfield and our focus on quality have led to a solid realization that we find our greatest comfort in working very closely, hand-in-hand, with the companies that produce our products – our most important partners in the never ending quest for improvement.

To us, that means that we can create tens of thousands of casings for our newest product in Manhattan Montana, just twenty miles away. It means that we can produce all our prototypes and pre-mass-production runs at a facility in Denver, just one flight away (single-flight destinations are rare for us). And it means that we produce our mass production products at a manufacturing partner in Spokane, WA, just a few hours drive.   Geoforce’s Bozeman office is home to most of the company’s growing engineering team. And, like many local businesses, we’ve taken our inventiveness, experience, and engineering talent and used it to fuel a world class oilfield satellite product and design operation. Not surprisingly, that spirit of invention and independence permeates the New West which, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity is also nation’s fasting geographic area for entrepreneurs and high tech start-ups – just like Sypes Canyon grew to become a part of Geoforce.   This all ties together in the fact that we just doubled the size of the Bozeman office this month, extended our lease term, and are buying new desks. Geoforce has a wealth of intellectual property, (especially with Globalstar Simplex technology), unparalleled experience in manufacturing, engineering skills, and enthusiasm, complemented nicely by the place we love to call home.

We create high technology at 4,800 feet in Bozeman, Montana, and we work with our colleagues in Texas to deliver our world leading GPS technology for the oil and gas fields. Created in the Rockies and shared with the planet – we want our technology to change things for the better, everywhere.