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The Future’s Bright in Missoula, Montana – Submittable and the Expanding Universe of Opportunities


Why run a startup in Missoula, Montana? At Submittable, we sometimes get this question from customers, potential investors, friends, family. When I moved to Montana from California, a friend in the Bay Area asked me, “So, is there a town?” (Answer: Yes. We even have a Costco.) While there are plenty of reasons to run a startup on the coast or in a more densely populated area, there are also countless reasons to do so in a state of only one million people. For one, real estate and overhead are much more affordable. Since Submittable is one of the main tech companies in Missoula, there is also less competition for employees and very little turnover. Our staff enjoy an excellent quality of life, allowing us to hire talented people who love where they live.

One colleague says she enjoys being able to “ski all the time without it costing one million dollars.” Another colleague loves “being surrounded by rivers.” Some of us bike to work through forests, or cross a bridge over the Clark Fork to get to Submittable’s office in the historic Florence Hotel downtown. There’s a thriving writing and arts community here, minimal traffic, and rampant natural beauty that inspires balanced living. Says one colleague, “People care about getting stuff done, but also take the time to enjoy summer.”

Recently, True Ventures invested a Series A round of funding in Submittable. This follows a previous funding round from Montana’s own Next Frontier Capital, in Bozeman. True Ventures is based in Silicon Valley. Puneet Agarwal, a partner at True, wrote a very thoughtful announcement about this investment and “The Myth of the Silicon Valley Locale”. We are thrilled and motivated to work with True Ventures, especially as one of the first Montana-based companies they’ve ever invested in. This funding will go toward our sales and marketing efforts, and product development. The Submittable platform is both simple and powerful — it can be used to collect and curate virtually any kind of content. In addition to working with publishers and writers, we’ll continue expanding our role in other verticals, including grants, job applications, festivals, conferences, and more.

A sketch of our team by our designer Joanna Socha.

Our company was founded by a writer, a filmmaker, and a musician. For writers and artists, we’re actively developing our mobile app and Discover feature, an ever-expanding creative opportunities marketplace that connects submitters with organizations. To that end, we’re excited to announce that the Discover feature is now an open platform, meaning anyone can go to www.submittable.com/discover and immediately create a free account to start searching for and tracking opportunities. If you already have a Submittable account, you can access Discover directly or by logging into your account and clicking Discover in the upper left-hand corner. Search for opportunities by theme or genre, follow organizations, and save specific opportunities. Watch this space for many new developments, coming soon.

If your organization wants to be included in the Discover feature, you can do this when creating or editing a submission category. Simply go to the Promote section of the General Settings tab, and choose at least one tag that describes your call for submissions.

What’s next? Our goal is to have a 500-person company in Missoula. Since we started in 2010, we’ve grown from three founders to over 35 employees. Two staff members have become first-time parents. Five have bought their first homes. Two million people have submitted work through the platform, and 10,000 organizations have become our clients. Here’s to the next two and five and two million and 10,000. Thank you for using Submittable. We couldn’t do this without you.

Asta So

Asta So lives in Missoula, MT, with her husband, dog, and cat. She is Submittable’s Head of People.