University of Montana School of Business Administration Gears Up for Business Plan Competition May 12

The business school will host the 16th Annual John Ruffato Business Plan Competition on Thursday, May 12, 2005. The competition includes several significant changes this year and is under new leadership: SoBA faculty member Jeff Shay and the Montana Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs (MADE).

According to Dr. Shay “The new format of the competition reflects the connection between entrepreneurship initiatives at SoBA and the entrepreneurial spirit of our contestants. The MADE group is working hard to design a competition that will attract promising entrepreneurs from around the state and the region and will eventually offer substantial seed capital for the best business plan. We are very excited about this year’s competition.”

Highlights of the 2005 competition include:

· Total prize money increased to $10,000.

· All plans double-blind reviewed by successful entrepreneurs.

· Submission date extended to April 27, 2005 to encourage submissions from plans written in spring semester.

· Students not making the final round have the opportunity to share their plans with attendees in a poster session format.

More than 450 students from around the state have participated in the John Ruffato Business Plan Competition since its inception. Approximately 30 of the student business plans have been implemented. Two of the most recent success stories are Big Sky Brewing Company (now one of the top 20 microbreweries in the country) and Kinetic Sports Interactive, an interactive media company that provides personalized training program supplemental software for companies such as Eastbay and Prospot.

For more information, including eligibility criteria and details on the judging process and awards, check out the Business Plan Competition website at:

Source: Dr. Jeff Shay – [email protected]

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