HIGH SCHOOL AND MIDDLE SCHOOL BUSINESS pLAN & PITCH COMPETITION

Are you a high school or middle school student running a small business, or do you have an idea for one? The Prospects is a virtual statewide entrepreneurship competition with scholarships and cash prizes for high school students with new ideas and existing small businesses.

View this year's awards ceremony

Junior Prospects

for middle school students

JUNIOR Prospects Submission Guidelines

submit your entry

Submission Requirements
Pitch Video (2 minutes or less)   |   Business Summary (1,000 words or less)   |   Educator and Parent Waiver Form  |  A completed W9

Have questions? Contact Tiana Yates at [email protected] or 307.254.4154.

What is the prospects?

A virtual statewide entrepreneurship competition with scholarships and cash prizes for high school students with new ideas and existing small businesses.

This is a collaborative initiative with Youth Entrepreneurs for investing in our students and developing a mentorship platform for connecting them with business and community leaders.

This platform is designed to find, celebrate, and reward promising high school students by providing them with mentorship, training and access to business leaders. We are promoting a positive self-image as innovative problem-solvers and entrepreneurs to motivate high school students to realize their full potential.

Cash Prizes and Scholarships for Your Business Idea

This year’s competition has over $75,000 in prizes so far! 

  • $39,000 cash

  • $19,000 scholarships

  • $10,000 Work-based Learning exhibition

  • $2,500 airline tickets

Montana Chamber foundation logo

thank you, sponsors!

lead sponsor

SCHOLARSHIPS

CASH prize sponsors

WORK-BASED LEARNING

treasure state investors

Click here for prize purse updates, competition guide,
and eligibility waiver.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Montana Chamber Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Montana Chamber of Commerce. We promote economic education, economic development and community viability by participating in educational projects and research that benefit Montana businesses.

Youth Entrepreneurs (YE) teaches students the skills and knowledge of business ownership, as well as the important human values that will guide them to success in the workplace and in life. YE provides entrepreneurship education to students in middle and high school, inspiring “students to overcome barriers and seize opportunities for the betterment of themselves and others.”

A virtual statewide entrepreneurship competition with scholarships and cash prizes for high school students with new ideas and existing small businesses.

This is a collaborative initiative with Youth Entrepreneurs for investing in our students and developing a mentorship platform for connecting them with business and community leaders.

This platform is designed to find, celebrate, and reward promising high school students by providing them with mentorship, training and access to business leaders. We are promoting a positive self-image as innovative problem-solvers and entrepreneurs to motivate high school students to realize their full potential.

This business plan and pitch competition structure was developed by the Montana Chamber of Commerce team, standing on the shoulders of those giants before us, adapting to the current CV19 remote environment, and leveraging the latest technologies to reach ALL Montana high school students.

Thank you to the High School Business Challenge, One Montana Teenpreneur Roundup, Youth Entrepreneurs BIG Idea National Competition, and Submittable for forging the way and identifying the best practices.

All Montana high school students are welcome to compete in this entrepreneurial ecosystem!

Montana is consistently recognized for our entrepreneurial, pioneer spirit. The vibrancy of our diverse rural and urban communities are linked to how successfully we empower our children to see themselves as having agency to create their futures.

Students are encouraged to display their entrepreneurial spirit with products and services, innovative problem solving, and community or social improvements for Montana (and beyond!).

Statewide leaders will act as third-party judges, providing scores and choosing winners, as well as their recommendations, feedback, and potentially employment opportunities.

HIGH SCHOOL CATEGORIES — Any of Montana’s 40,000+ high school students are eligible to submit their ideas for new, innovative businesses, or present their existing businesses. We are also accepting entries that articulate how to solve challenges and generate revenue.

The Prospects is open to all Montana high school students, from public, independent, or religious schools, homeschooled, or HiSET.

We encourage CTE students participating in CTSOs including BPA, DECA, FCCLA, and FFA, TSA, SKILLS USA or in other community youth organizations like 4-H and Scouts.

Students can enter The Prospects as individuals or as teams.

MIDDLE SCHOOL CATEGORIES – Any of Montana’s middle school aged students are eligible to submit their innovative ideas for new products or
services or submit their existing business. To provide structure, the Montana Chamber Foundation recommends formatting your submissions in one or more of the following categories:

The Vacant Lot: Team or Class Competition

Free Category: Follow your passion industry

Specific Ideas: Health, Tech, Construction, Manufacturing, Mobile Applications to improve life, Sports-related goods or services

Non-Profit / Community Development

New product or invention to improve existing service

*All students entering The Prospects must have an adult sponsor.

Yes. Students may enter alone as solopreneurs or in teams.

If a team wins one of our cash prizes, those students and their teachers will distribute the prize.

The Prospects provides two competitive tracks to showcase students’ abilities as business innovators.

Category 1 – New Business Idea: Students who have ideas for new products or services that address a need or challenge will compete in this category. Students who develop business ideas for their CTE courses or CTSO competitions are encouraged to submit these ideas to The Prospects. Why not win two awards for one outstanding idea!

Category 2 – Existing Business: Students who run small businesses are already demonstrating their entrepreneurial savvy. Some students run their businesses to make spending money or money for college. Other students run businesses as fundraising ventures for their school or community clubs. Any student or club that sells a product or service to raise money is eligible to enter their business in The Prospects.

BONUS YE Category: An additional pool of prizes, awards and mentorship opportunities is available only to Youth Entrepreneurs program students.

Requirement #1: A 2-minute Pitch Video in which students make the case for their product or service. Only the content and persuasiveness of the pitch will be judged. The quality of the video will not be judged, as there are too many technical variables that can impact video quality. Get creative to stand out!

Requirement #2: A 1,000 word written Business Summary using our template and contains no more than 1,000 words.

Requirement #3: A Release Waiver Form completed by parents or guardians and student is required. The completed form must be submitted as a PDF. If a team is submitting, all members of the team must complete and upload this form.

All students participating in The Prospects must submit their entries electronically through our online portal, Submittable.

Submissions will be accepted until 11:59 pm Friday, March 18, 2021.

The Montana Chamber of Commerce has recruited a panel of volunteer judges representing Montana’s business community. They will evaluate and rank all submissions using our rubric.

Judging will take place from Monday, March 21 until Friday, April 15. Submissions will be ranked based on the combined scores of the Video Pitch and Business Summary, with each component given equal weight.

Winners will be announced virtually, with fanfare, on Friday, April 22, 2022!

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