About Pursue Your Passions

What We Are About

Pursue Your Passions (PYP) creates empowering environments where women say their ideas out loud. PYP builds educational, experiential and entrepreneurial programs for Montana women to create more equitable, prosperous and collaborative futures for all.

Our Values

  • Inclusivity. You belong here. We work to reach all people including those who are underestimated, overlooked or oppressed.
  • Leadership. We help authentic leaders find their full potential.
  • Entrepreneurship. We gravitate toward entrepreneurial minds that strive to solve problems; big and small.
  • Wholeness. We demand physical safety and emotional well-being.
  • The Collective. We bring people together to build connective communities that can create a positive impact.

Program History

Pursue Your Passions began when celebrated UM Professor Dr. Jakki Mohr identified a need in 2015. Too few women were participating in University of Montana's student business plan competition. She called upon her robust network and started an inspirational series of lectures from esteemed female business professionals, infamous female alumni, and inspiring female founders. 

After an incredible semester of inspiring speakers, Dr. Mohr connected with Morgan Slemberger and Paul Gladen at the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars. Sharing a similar passion for empowering women, Slemberger raised her hand to continue the program and has been doing so since January 2016.

Since the program's inception, women's participation in UM business plan competitions as well as their enrollment in the LaunchPad have increased by about three times. Examples of businesses that have come from the program include crepes, coffee shops, wall muralists, clothing lines, yoga instructors, marketing firms, writing courses, and more.