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Bozeman, Montana's Brilliant Swim™ Ships First Product - PaceWatch™

October 5, 2013View for printing

I started Brilliant Swim™ a little over a year ago, we announced our first product, the PaceWatch™, in the middle of July (press release: ... -your-wrist), and we began shipping product this week (press release: ... g-pacewatch).

Montana's not really a hotbed for swimming, so I don't expect too many of your readers to be in my target market, but I wanted to share my story.

I was an aspiring entrepreneur for more than two decades, but I was able to drop the adjective "aspiring" from my identity over the past year, as I started by own company and launched my first product. I can't point to any one thing that allowed me to overcome 20 years of fear and excuses. Some might say it was a mid-life crisis, but I think it was a culmination of a number of things. I've certainly been inspired by stories about other Montana entrepreneurs that I read about in your newsletter (which I've subscribed to since 2009). Another source of inspiration was the first TEDxBozeman, which I attended in 2012. But I think it was my experience at Startup Weekend Missoula and the free help and support that I have received through StartupBozeman, Bozeman BEAR (Business Expansion And Retention), the Bozeman chapter or SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and from other entrepreneurs across Montana that really made me feel comfortable that there is an excellent support system in place, and that I would not be going this alone (despite the fact that I am a single-founder start-up).

Only time will tell whether I find success, or I join the majority of entrepreneurs who fail. If I fail, it won't be for lack of an entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Montana. I haven't yet read Brad Feld's book about startup communities, so I don't know what we should be striving for, but from my perspective, there's a pretty nice startup community already in place here in Montana, and having benefited from it, I'm doing what I can to help grow it. One year into this entrepreneurial endeavor, it would be a bit presumptuous of me to call myself a mentor, but I am sharing what I have learned on my journey with other aspiring entrepreneurs. I've done this mostly through informal one-on-one discussions at StartupBozeman events, but I also organized and hosted a panel discussion with Bozeman companies who "make stuff" for StartupBozeman (video here:, and I have been working with business students at both UM and MSU to give them exposure to the real world of entrepreneurship.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way. Let's keep building!

Phillip Luebke

Chief Swimming Officer

Brilliant Swim

PO Box 10941

Bozeman, Montana, 59719-0941

406-600-2771 (cell)

Skype: philadopolis





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