Start Ups

A primary goal of the TTO is to foster the development of Montana businesses based on MSU technology, inventions and research. The following is a sampling of companies based in part on MSU intellectual property. The TTO looks forward to working with other companies or entrepreneurs interested in leveraging MSU assets.



406 Aerospace is a science and engineering company focused on applying state-of-the art technologies to enable more capable autonomous flight systems.  The company, founded in 2011 by a Montana State Research Professor of Physics and a Systems Engineer, has its roots in Montana State University's Space Science and Engineering Laboratory. The company specifies, designs, builds, and qualifies for end-use both hardware and software for application to autonomous robotic systems, with primary focus on small, yet highly capable, low-mass and low-power spacecraft and unmanned aerial systems for commercial and government clients.

Bridger Photonics


Bridger Photonics was founded by three dedicated laser physicists who pursued their advanced degrees together at Montana State University. Each of the founders subsequently pursued different paths, developing unique sets of experience along the way, and reunited to build a company with a strong set of core values reflecting the pioneering spirit of Bozeman, Montana. The company has several licenses with MSU and is researching and developing a variety of technologies based around its proprietary monolithic lasers and its novel actively stabilized frequency swept lasers. With unsurpassed capabilities in terms of precisions, Bridger is becoming a world leader in LIDAR for remote gas sensing, LADAR for precision distance measurements, and methods for advanced imaging including focus control and 3D imaging.

S2 Corporation


S2 provides creative ultra-wideband sensing and signal processing solutions for multiple customers. The company has a depth of experience in research and development, simulation, proof of concept designs, rapid prototyping and external testing. Applications for S2 technologies include radar range-Doppler signal processing, surveillance and signal intelligence for electronic warfare, and related applications, signal processing for broadband pulsed laser radar, optical communications, and multi-static continuous wave laser radar. Emerging technology applications include analog-to-digital conversion, arbitrary waveform generation, and true-time delay for RF beamforming. Supporting technology development efforts include cryogenics engineering and RF and digital components, among others.

Zdye, LLC


Zdye, LLC has been established to license, develop and market Zdye products for proteomics and diagnostic applications. Zdye is currently developing a family of unique, multicolor fluorescent dyes (Zdyes) with properties optimized for protein detection in proteomics. The Zdyes are initially being applied in 2D gels, which have the advantage that the occurrences of most of the protein modifications that control cellular regulation create new spot positions on the gels. Zdye labeling increases protein solubility and appears to be effective for studying membrane or other difficult proteins. The Zdyes fill major gaps in proteomic technology by providing: 1) Increased global protein detection sensitivity, 2) improved quantification of differential protein levels and changes in post-translational modification in response to biological stimuli, and 3) enhanced protein recovery for identification by mass spectrometry.

Montana Microbial Products


Montana Microbial Products is commercializing technology for use in sustainable agricultural and aquaculture systems. The company works with microbial agents and compounds discovered and developed by MMP, licensed from universities or others, and also does contract research and development. MMP operates a fully functional microbiology lab and pilot plant. Core technical competencies include isolation and selection technology, formulation, solid and liquid fermentation, and process design. The two principals in the company, Cliff Bradley and Bob Kearns, have experience taking products from discovery, through production to commercialization, including international sales and licensing.



Cleanwaste, a 10-year old manufacturer in Belgrade, Montana makes products that help people cope with human waste "when plumbing's not availableĀ®". Starting with four founders, Cleanwaste today employs 56 full-time employees, having grown from 18 in the last several months. Cleanwaste supplies US military, outdoor retail chains, emergency and disaster-relief entities, industrial, mining and utilities markets, institutional healthcare buyers and even mass market drug retail chains. Cleanwaste currently is the largest supplier of human waste handling products to the US military, outdoor and healthcare markets.

Ligocyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc


Despite the significant progress made in the vaccine industry to date, two challenges remain: to produce vaccines against unmet or emerging targets, and to produce improved vaccines that are more effective than currently available products. LigoCyte has developed proprietary technologies that address both of these challenges. LigoCyte focuses on virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines that mimic viruses but lack the ability to reproduce or cause infectious complications. VLP-based vaccines have had a tremendous impact on both human health and the industry itself, as evidenced by medical and commercial success in the human papillomavirus and Hepatitis B fields. LigoCyte's core technologies are contributing to the development of vaccine products against norovirus, influenza, and other respiratory viruses.

BioSurface Technologies Corporation


BioSurface Technologies Corporation provides innovative products that grow, measure, and evaluate biofilms and biofilm processes to aid product development and process control, and to increase our understanding of fundamental biofilm processes. BioSurface Technologies is providing products and technology to industry and researchers world-wide.