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December 20, 2016Press Release

Michael Best Launches Missoula Office with Two Startup Pros

Michael Best is pleased to announce that partner Joel Henry and senior counsel Jennifer Ewan have joined the firm to lead its new Missoula office. The office will be headquartered in the Montana Technology Enterprise Center (MonTEC), a technology-focused business incubator that connects entrepreneurs and support services through a range of programmatic offerings.

“Missoula is a hotbed for the startup community in the mountain west region, and we’re thrilled that Michael Best has joined as a business partner,” said Joe Fanguy, President of the Montana Technology Enterprise Center. “Joel and Jenn will be invaluable resources to the companies that currently occupy the MonTEC as well as our stateside network.”

Michael Best’s Venture Best team works closely with entrepreneurs and emerging businesses, as well as the angel and institutional venture capital investors that finance them. The group represents a substantial number of start-up and emerging companies in biotechnology, information technology and software, medical device, electronics, and other high-technology sectors. Michael Best provides entrepreneurs with strategic advice that reflects broad and deep familiarity in venture capital across the state, region, and country.

As an intellectual property attorney by trade, Henry focuses his practice on counseling startup and growth phase companies on various IP matters including patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and licensing. He also guides his clients through business formation and contract matters, and has significant experience advising clients on the intersection of law and emerging technologies, in particular, drones and unmanned vehicle systems, data gathering and mining, privacy and security.

“I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart, and feel right at home with Michael Best, working in the same space as our entrepreneurial clients at this unique MonTEC location,” said Henry. “My familiarity and knowledge with these companies and their associated technologies is a perfect fit with the firm to address the challenges of this unique environment.”

Ewan was previously with the Missoula Economic Partnership where she assisted businesses with their start-up efforts, business retention and expansion needs, as well as assisted businesses in re-locating to Montana from U.S. and global locations. She also focused on investor engagement and special projects focused on data science and technology and air service. As senior counsel, she will provide guidance to startup and emerging companies on a wide array of technology, employment, and corporate-related matters.

“I’m excited to be at the forefront of our partnership with MonTEC and the startup community as part of the Venture Best team,” said Ewan. “Missoula’s startup sector has attracted astounding talent in recent years, and I’ve been fortunate to develop strong partner networks with this talent that will help benefit the firm’s existing relationships and foster new partnerships.”

Henry received his J.D. from the University of Montana Law School, where he earned the CALI Award for Intellectual Property. He also earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech, and both his M.S. and B.S from Montana State University.

Ewan received her J.D. from the University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Montana. She also attended the China University of Political Science and Law.

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