Woman’s Foundation, Blackstone to launch new “passion” program

Missoula Current

Local entrepreneurs, students and Blackstone LaunchPad will open this year’s Pursue Your Passion program on Thursday with Courtney McKee, a past Montana Entrepreneur of the Year and CEO of Headframe Spirits.

The Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Montana – a startup consulting service for students, staff, faculty and alumni – is partnering with the Women’s Foundation of Montana to open a new two-semester program that aims to inspire students to discover their passion and direct them toward developing a business or nonprofit organization.

Both Blackstone and the Woman’s Foundation look to promote entrepreneurship as a viable career option for underrepresented students, including women who represent a much smaller percentage of entrepreneurship than men.

This year’s program will accept 15 student applicants who will embark on a school-year long, experiential incubation in the entrepreneurial and startup process with peer-based, accountability and community mentors.

The program will culminate with a certificate of completion for participants as well as encouragement and support to apply for the John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge – the University of Montana’s student business plan competition.

The public is invited to attend the kick-off event on Thursday, Sept. 29th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Gilkey Center on the University of Montana campus.

To learn more about the program, visit the Pursue Your Passion website.