Public Event


$50,000. 12 Teams. 4 Finalists.

1.jpgThe 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 Startup 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 School of Business Administration and the Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Montana. 

Interested in competing? Fill out our interest form for ways to get a leg up on the competition.

Join Us on March 8!


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

On Friday, March 8 you are welcome to attend the John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge. Live pitches begin at 5:00 P.M. in the Gallagher Business Building. Our 2019 list of competitors will be posted by 2/13/19 after accepted applicants confirm their intent to compete.

This will be followed by a reception at 7:30 P.M. with complimentary food and a no-host bar in the Gilkey Education Building located on the University of Montana Missoula campus.


Get your tickets from Sellout HERE!


January 14 - February 27= $15
February 28 - March 8= $25