The Montana Chamber Foundation announces 2023 prospects award winners
May 4, 2023
The Montana Chamber Foundation’s winners of The Prospects Awards were announced in a virtual awards ceremony last week.
Two Seeley-Swan High School students took top places in the competion this year.
For the third year, the statewide youth entrepreneurship competition offered scholarships and cash prizes for high school and middle school students with new ideas and existing small businesses.
“When we engage with our youth, we know we are investing in the future entrepreneurs and business leaders of Montana,” said Todd O’Hair, Executive Director of the Montana Chamber Foundation. “The Prospect competition serves as a platform for Montana students to present business ideas and provides access to local business leaders, empowering students to create their own futures.”
The competition drew more than 140 students from across the state. In total, more than $75,000 was distributed in cash, prizes, and scholarships. This year’s categories included: Best New Business Idea; Best Existing Business; Vacant Lot; and President’s Hustle Award.
In addition to award money, 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.
“Stockman Bank is proud to support the 2023 Prospects Awards,” said Bill Coffee, CEO of Stockman Bank. “To see the entrepreneur spirit alive and well in hundreds of Montana students is to know the future of Montana business is in good hands. We are honored to support their endeavors and excited to see these ideas turn into realities.”
“EdChoice works to empower students to access diverse educational pathways so that each individual can maximize their learning opportunities and achieve their goals and dreams”, said Brian McGrath, Vice President of External Relations. “These awards recognize their hard work and unique ideas that could become thriving businesses and we are proud to support these early entrepreneurs and innovators.”
EdChoice and Stockman Bank were the lead sponsors of The 2023 Prospects Awards. Additional support for the awards was provided by: Alaska Airlines; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana; Ember Marketing Group; Gallatin College, Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce; Miles Community College, Montana High Tech Business Alliance; Montana State University Hilleman Scholars Program, Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship and College of Agriculture & Montana Agriculture Experiment Station; Montana State University College of Business; Montana State University Northern; MTADA; RDO Equipment Co .; Two Bear Capital; University of Montana Western Foundation.
The Montana Chamber Foundation thanks all student contestants and recognizes the teachers who offered support. A special thanks to the volunteer judges and statewide partners who donated their time and expertise throughout the competition.
EXISTING BUSINESS TOP PLACERS
SECOND PLACE ($2,000): Rumble Creek Woodworking, Connor Matthew - Seeley-Swan High School
EXISTING BUSINESS TOP PLACERS
FIFTH PLACE ($500): Stonefly Earrings, Seth Dunster, Seeley-Swan High School