Fourteen entrepreneurial ventures have been selected as finalists for Montana State University’s second annual $50K Venture Competition, which will take place virtually on April 7–8.
During the competition, which is hosted by MSU’s Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship and its Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars, the 14 ventures will compete for a share of $50,000 in prize money. Finalists will also gain access to experienced entrepreneurs, mentors and numerous business network resources. In addition, finalists will receive feedback from judges and may capture the attention of investors, future collaborators and community members.
Finalists will pitch to a panel of judges each day from 4 to 6 p.m. They will have up to 10 minutes to present, followed by up to five minutes of questions and answers.
The 14 finalists were selected from among 36 entries submitted by MSU students, faculty, staff and recent alumni. Finalists in a traditional venture track will pitch on Wednesday, April 7. Finalists in a social venture track will pitch on Thursday, April 8.
The finalists pitching in the traditional venture track are:
- Big Sky Mountain Products, which aims to build reliable, durable and affordable climbing skins.
- Flux Motion, which produces helmet inserts to improve protection for athletes.
- Ignis Technologies, which offers tools to modernize how firefighting organizations communicate and distribute information.
- Medicine Mountain Scrub Company, which produces sustainably sourced, ethically manufactured medical workwear for women.
- Ninja Marmot Bicycle Company, which produces a high-performance full suspension bike frame.
- Resilient Computing, which offers novel computer technology that can survive space radiation.
- SporeAttic LLC, a commercial gourmet mushroom farm.
- TWEERL, which connects friends and family with a goal of helping them easily explore activities and make plans together.
The finalists pitching in the social venture track are:
- Bonbon Bouye, which translates to “Baobab delight,” is a children’s peanut nutrition bar. The bar is produced by women who have small farms in Kaffrine, Senegal, in efforts to boost economic development and provide job opportunities.
- Foothold, which works to build high-quality, sustainable and affordable prefabricated homes.
- Positivity Outward, which aims to help improve the mental health of rural youth by connecting them to service opportunities that encourage personal development and community improvement.
- Roundtable, a card game that facilitates dialogue around racism in America. Roundtable believes that productive discussions that begin at home are the best way to challenge and change the status quo within communities and political systems.
- Success Prints, which creates products and services to help students transition to college.
- The Growing Health Tea Project, which is working to create and support a local tea marketplace in the Blackfeet Nation.