Israeli high-tech firm picks Missoula for expansion

Tech

Martin Kidston/Missoula Current

Jenni Graff, the economic development director with Missoula Economic Partnership, said 4Cast will begin hiring in May.

An Israeli high-tech firm has selected Missoula as the location of its U.S. office, where it plans to develop and sell support simulators earmarked for several key industries, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced on Monday.

The company, known as 4Cast, will develop predictive analytics aimed at homeland security, defense and healthcare. The firm plans to launch its U.S. office in June and hire 100 employees over the coming years.

The company’s office location has not yet been announced.

“They’ll be back here this summer with intention to open and start hiring sales and software developers in May,” Jenni Graff, economic development director with the Missoula Economic Partnership, said Monday. “It all makes sense now why we’ve been so bullish on tech-sector growth in Missoula.”

Back in January, former MEP president and CEO James Grunke said the economic organization met with Eltel Technologies during last year’s Select USA conference hosted by the federal government. At the time, Grunke suggested that Missoula was one of the cities being considered by Eltel.

4Cast, a diversified Israeli tech company, is an Eltel spinoff.

Company CEO Nissim Titan said help from MEP, the Montana World Trade Center and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development helped convince 4Cast to open its office in Missoula.

“In our search for a U.S. base, we were particularly impressed with the enthusiasm, responsiveness and cooperation we received,” Titan said. “We believe their support and cooperation, coupled with the availability of a talented and educated workforce in the area, offers an amazing opportunity to forge a strong and successful U.S. presence for 4Cast in the future.”

The arrival of 4Cast in Missoula marks the second major win in the city’s push for economic growth, particularly that surrounding technology. Late last year, ClassPass also selected Missoula as the location for its third North American office, placing the Garden City alongside New York City and San Francisco.

That company, which looks to hire 120 employees in Missoula in the next two years, chose Missoula for its quality of life, progressive values and educated workforce.

“Montana is increasingly seen as an ideal choice for companies that not only value a strong business climate and educated workforce, but a place where quality of life matters,” Bullock said with Monday’s announcement. “I’m thrilled 4Cast has chosen Missoula as a place to grow its business — a testament to the community’s cultivation of a high-tech industry that results in good-paying jobs.”

Jeff Fee, the interim director of MEP, said technology is increasingly defining Missoula’s new economy, one that has shifted from a reliance on resource-based industries a decade ago.

Graff added that 4Cast’s arrival will further diversify Missoula’s tech sector. It may also elevate the city’s reputation as a burgeoning tech hub and convince other firms to give it a closer look.

“We’ve got a company that has secured a significant amount of venture capital in ClassPass with a very strong national brand, and now we have an international firm that has also decided on Missoula,” Graff said.

“When we initially started talking to them, they were interested in Department of Defense contracting,” she added. “When they recognized that we had this heathcare expertise in Missoula and Montana, generally, they decided the healthcare focus would make a lot of sense as well.”

4Cast develops and sells predictive analytic solutions, which currently target homeland security, defense, enterprise and healthcare personnel.

This article originally appeared on Missoula Current, an independent online newspaper, of which Martin Kidston is the founding editor.

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