Student Entrepreneurs Secure Business Funding and Awards

Students at the annual Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge

All three teams of Montana State University student entrepreneurs who competed at a startup competition held recently in Missoula earned awards and funding to support their startups.

The students were competing at the 29th annual John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge. Over the course of the competition, the teams made their pitches in front of more than 50 judges ranging from small business owners to larger company executives.

“We are very proud of our teams of MSU students, who did extremely well,” said Trevor Huffmaster, interim director of the Blackstone LaunchPad at MSU. “Ruffatto is an amazing opportunity for these student entrepreneurs to get feedback and guidance from over 50 leaders in our Montana business and entrepreneurship community.”
Read more here...

Business Alum Wins National Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition

Alex Crosby receiving a check for winning a national pitch competition

Alex Crosby '13, took first place in a recent national entrepreneurship pitch competition for a mobile app he is developing to help curb drunken driving.

His HERO app won the top prize in the competition, which was sponsored by the Blackstone LaunchPad and held in Boston as part of the prestigious Forbes Under 30 Summit. Top ventures from 20 schools within the Blackstone network participated in the competition.

Read more here...



  • Jake Jabs talking to students1260+ students have participated in the consulting courses.
  • The students have provided well over 20,000 hours of pro-bono business analysis
  • More than 300 clients (businesses, organizations, and non-profits) in Montana have been served including: Bozeman Public Library, Foundant Technologies, Shakespeare in the Parks,, and Zoot Enterprises
  • Students participating in the Entreprentice Challenge have raised more than $25,000 for local non-profits over the past six years.
  • The program was one of 19 recognized by the SBA in 2005 and 2007 for demonstrated market-based results.


More Student and Alumni Highlights:


More stories...