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Contests are a springboard for student entrepreneurs

December 28, 2010View for printing

Business-plan competitions give people a chance to start companies -- or at least make connections -- while still in college.

By Cyndia Zwahlen

Full Story: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f ... 51794.story

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What is the John Ruffatto Business Plan Competition?

The John Ruffatto Business Plan Competition was founded in 1990 and has become one of the premier entrepreneurial events in the state. Each May, the event attracts approximately 30 teams from college programs around the state vying for an invitation to compete in the day long event. Fifteen teams are invited to compete and the field is narrowed down during the day with the top 4 teams presenting their plans in the evening to an audience of more than 250 distinguished Montana business leaders, academicians, and students. These teams in the past have competed for over $35,000 in prize money. The competition's distinguished judges and the audience submit their votes following the evening presentations and awards are given to all teams invited to the competition.

More than 600 students from Montana's universities and colleges have participated in the event since its inception and over 50 of the student business plans have been implemented. These businesses include: Air Montana, Big Sky Brewing Company, Custom Rides and Racing, Genre & Mode, Guarana Energia, Kinetic Sports Interactive, Mazdog Archery, Rocky Mountain Truss Company, Wood Fusion Studio, and many more.

http://www.business.umt.edu/made/pro ... watndoc.pdf
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