Bozeman business mogul Gianforte to receive UM Pioneer in Industry Award
It’s been almost a year since software mogul Greg Gianforte sold his Bozeman-based company RightNow Technologies in a $1.5 billion deal to Oracle Corp.
The megasale made headlines around the world and represented the fifth successful software startup Gianforte has helped launch, although it was his first in Montana.
For Gianforte, honored with the Montana Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs and the University of Montana School of Business Administration’s 2012 Pioneer in Industry Award, Right Now’s success represents a pioneering moment in his long business career.
Gianforte started the cloud-based customer service and support solutions company in Bozeman in 1997 after relocating there from California’s Silicon Valley.
“The question that emerged in my mind in the mid-90s was, could you build a world class business in a rural location? We said, ‘We think so. We think the Internet made it possible,’ ” Gianforte said.
“What we learned, in fact, is the Internet puts Main Street kind of anywhere it needs to be in the world.”
The deal with Oracle was announced last October, but that was after Right Now grew by more than 1,100 employees across the world. In Bozeman, RightNow’s average salary was $86,000.
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