Upper Merion High School Alum, Soon-to-be Congressman Used to Be Godfather of Montana Technology Scene

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Upper Merion High School graduate and newly elected congressman Greg Gianforte sold his successful software company to Oracle for $1.5 Billion. (Image via Wikipedia)

Congressman Greg Gianforte, famous for body slamming a reporter on the eve of his election, is also the founder of a successful software company in Montana, writes Gerrit De Vynck, Karen Weise, and Brian Womack for Bloomberg.

Gianforte first revealed his entrepreneurial abilities at Upper Merion High School. While playing as a guard on the football team, he sold Gatorade to his teammates for 10 cents less than it cost at the local Wawa convenience store.

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After high school, he went on to study engineering in New Jersey before taking a job at AT&T’s Bell Labs. However, frustrated by the bureaucracy there, he soon struck out on his own.

To do this, he started a company that sold customer service software to other businesses in the town of Bozeman. Despite the unusual location, his tech startup RightNow took off, creating hundreds of jobs in an area that mainly focused on skiing and fly-fishing. Gianforte took his company public in 2004, later selling it to Oracle for $1.5 billion.

“The godfather of the tech community is Greg,” said David Vap, a venture capitalist who worked at RightNow for six years.

Read more about Gianforte’s previous venture at Bloomberg by clicking here.

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