From our Fellow: John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge
Last month, I had the opportunity to participate in the 28th Annual John Ruffatto Business Startup challenge, alongside my teammates Kirk Richardson and Brandon Staggs, former Missoula Economic Partnership intern. Prior to participating in the competition at the University of Montana, my team and I competed in the SBDC sponsored Shark Tank contest in Helena as well. Both contests were extremely competitive and we were proud of the fact that we made it past the initial round in both cases.
The product we have been developing is called Match’M. Match’M is a “software as a service” (SaaS) project workforce platform that uses a suitability algorithm to help managers build the optimal team for any given project. Our algorithm combines inputs based on employee skills, project preferences, and personality, with evaluations by the manager and skills required for the project to select the employees that would make the optimal team, per customizable parameters set by the manager.
Aside from the competitive aspect, I can confidently say that each of us walked away with a lifelong memory, new and polished skills, both individually and as team, and immensely helped prepare us for our future entrepreneurial endeavors. The feedback from the judges was insightful and accurate, and will be vital to us as we continue to develop Match’M into the optimal SaaS teambuilding product. The structure of competition day was challenging, demanding, and at times hectic, as we were required to collaborate and refine our presentation multiple times throughout the day. However, I am sure the experience we gained from competing in this high-intensity environment will be invaluable to us as we move to the next stages of development and growth in our company.