Press Release, Uncategorized|

(Helena, MT) – The Montana Chamber Foundation is proud to announce that Billings Career Center high school students Tyler Bruursema and Tyler Power of Stick Buddy, an affordable multifaceted construction tool, were named the winner of its first Grand Champion Competition and $5,000 on Monday, May 22 at MSU Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship in Bozeman, MT. Following the third installment of the Chamber Foundation’s The Prospects Awards, a virtual statewide high school “shark-tank” style pitching competition for $75,000 in cash and scholarships, an in-person event for the Grand Champion title, an additional $8,500 in cash prizes, and $1,000 scholarships to MSU for all participants, was held.

“Our youth are growing up in a digital age unlike any other, however how you show up in person matters,” said Todd O’Hair, Executive Director of the Montana Chamber Foundation. “That is why the Grand Champion pitching competition was held in-person on the heels of our third annual The Prospects virtual awards. In addition to instilling entrepreneurship in our students, we want to help them develop the interpersonal and soft skills required to be successful in the future.” Second place and $2,500 went to Fergus High School student Owen Day for the School of Music at the Emporium which brings affordable music education to rural Montana. Hailey Johnson, also from the Billings Career Center, took home third place and $1,000for Duralane, a more durable and affordable swimming lane line option.

“I am so proud of our students for their accomplishments,” said Scott Hanson, JMG Career Specialist at the Billings Career Center. “It is amazing to see how their outstanding work in our Jobs for Montana’s Graduates class prepared them to compete and excel in The Prospects and Grand Champion events. By teaching our students the 21st century skills necessary to gain employment and think entrepreneurially, we are equipping them to succeed in life.” The Grand Champion Competition showcased eleven groups of students selected out of 140 applicants from across Montana who emerged on April 22 as The Prospects top five winners for Best New Business Idea and Best Existing Business, along with the President’s Hustle Award winner.

“We were thrilled to host these driven, entrepreneurial minded Montana high school students at MSU,” said Dr. Daniel Miller, Dean MSU Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship. “With a passion for business, these young people are tomorrow’s leaders. I am hopeful that these enterprising youth will consider MSU and Jabs in their college considerations. It was a pleasure to meet them, and I am very optimistic for Montana’s future.” Support for the 2023 Grand Champion Competition was provided by Blackstone Launchpad at MSU, First Security Bank, Lucky Girl Design, the Montana Chamber of Commerce, MSU Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship, and Thomas Clothing. EdChoice and Stockman Bank were the lead sponsors of The Prospects Awards.

In addition to award money and scholarships, the competition is an opportunity for students statewide to connect with industry experts through the Montana Chamber Foundation for mentoring, internships, apprenticeships, and work-based learning opportunities. A special thanks to the volunteer judges and statewide partners who donated their time and expertise.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close Search Window