Public Event

$50,000. 12 Teams. 4 Finalists.

The John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge is a statewide, experiential learning event hosted annually by the University of Montana College of Business since 1989. The Business JRBSC-Logo.jpgStartup Challenge is Montana's premiere opportunity for students attending any college or university across Montana to present exciting new businesses and/or social entrepreneurship venture ideas for adjudication. The Business Startup Challenge is run by the College of Business and the Blackstone LaunchPad at University of Montana. 

For more information on the postponement of the 2020 event, please see our news release. (


You are invited to attend the public, live pitch event!

On Friday, March 27, 2020 (POSTPONED) you are welcome to attend the John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge public event at 5:00 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall on the University of Montana campus. Reception to follow with complimentary food and cash bar. 

Our list of competitors will be posted after accepted applicants confirm their intent to compete in March.

Tickets: $15 ($10 early bird pricing) for the general public, free for students. Tickets will launch soon.