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Student entrepreneurs gear up for third annual MSU $50K Venture Competition

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Posted at 5:33 PM, Apr 26, 2022

Ten teams are preparing themselves for the $50K Venture Competition at Montana State University.

The competition invites students, recent alumni, and faculty from MSU and the University of Montana to present a live pitch for their ventures. The ten teams competing Wednesday, April 27 already proved their company and their ideas in past competitions.

Each team will be given $1000 to put toward their venture, and the top teams from the Traditional and Social ventures will be given further funding.

“You have this great idea, but there’s lots of great ideas; turning it into a company is a whole other process,” Marcus Twichel said.

Twichel and Bruce Clark are competing together, pitching their app development technology for restaurants and quick-service establishments.

Ventures ranging from coding and technology for private businesses, to hardware and software advancements for first responders. Morteza Hosseinnejad and his team are working toward utilizing drones and robots for avalanche rescue and wildfire suppression.

Hosseinnejad has competed in other entrepreneurship competitions in the past and believes that the value lies in the process, the funding, but also the experience of meeting other entrepreneurs.

“It has the name of ‘competition’, but I’ve found that at the end, I’m really good friends with everyone competing,” Hosseinnejad said.

Hosseinnejad and his team have been developing this idea for about three years and have experienced competition before. For Jasmine Schroeder and Nathan Saier this is one of their first experiences pitching in front of judges and an audience.

Schroeder was inspired to design an app for those experiencing isolation, anxiety, and separation on campus. A way to offer a community to those seeking friends and closeness at a university, addressing mental health and crisis aversion, Schroeder said.

Saier speaks on how this competition is a way to develop an app that can help many on campus.

“That money means development and to start doing good on a very, very quick timetable,” Saier said.

The competition will kick off Wednesday, April 27, at 4 p.m. at Inspiration Hall at Norm Asbjornson Hall.