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Budding businesses: MSU freshmen pitch business startups

The idea for a company that could do well by doing good for the planet was the big winner Tuesday when hundreds of Montana State University freshmen competed by pitching new business ideas to a panel of judges.

The winning 13-student team came up with the idea for Algae Life, a company that would use toxic algae — which has killed marine mammals and fish from Florida to the Great Lakes — to make foam for life vests that could be sold to paddle-boarders, kayakers and other water recreationists.

“Clean waterways, Save marine life,” said their sales pitch.

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