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Applications are due today for Montana’s only statewide student business startup competition. In its 31st year, the competition, which is open to any student enrolled in higher education across the state of Montana, provides more than $50,000 in prize money to students who pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges.
Applications are available online at http://www.umt.edu/startup. The event committee will select 12 teams to compete in the competition, which will take place Friday, March 27, on the UM campus.
Four finalists are selected during the day to compete for the top prizes — including the $15,000 first-place cash prize — at the evening’s public event.
Since 1989, the University of Montana College of Business has hosted the annual John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge, the premier opportunity for Montana’s brightest and boldest students to present exciting new entrepreneurial ideas for adjudication. In its formative years, the competition would not have been possible without the efforts and contributions of the Montana Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs (MADE), a group composed of Montana’s finest entrepreneurs and business professionals. Although MADE is no longer a formal organization, the Montana business community continues to foster the spirit of innovation through generous support of the UM College of Business and its business startup challenge.
Occurring every spring, the Business Startup Challenge is open to all students attending a college or university in Montana. From new products and inventions to social entrepreneurship ventures, the challenge invites all ideas for submission.
With the dedicated leadership of both the College of Business and UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad running the event, up to 12 teams will be selected and invited to compete in the annual event. Invited teams will compete for $50,000 in awards while also having the opportunity to network with venture capitalists, early stage investors, investment bankers, economic developers, corporate executives, and successful entrepreneurs. Teams will also have the unique opportunity to present to over 250 business professionals and community leaders who will be attending the Final Round presentations.
More info: www.umt.edu/startup