UM Blackstone LaunchPad Hosts Problem-Solving Competition

October 04, 2016

MISSOULA – University of Montana students attempting to solve campus, community and world problems will be rewarded – even when they fail – during the “99 Problems” event on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad first asked students to embrace creative problem-solving by brainstorming problems and attempting real solutions with failure as an option. Now, 13 finalists are in the running to receive “failureships” or cash scholarships during Wednesday’s event.

 From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the UM Oval, the public is invited to write their own problems on 99 red balloons. In addition, campus and community members are encouraged to vote for the official student-submitted problems on the Blackstone LaunchPad UM Facebook page, which is online at

The first-place students will receive $750, second place earns $500, and third place will earn $250.

Blackstone LaunchPad UM is a startup consulting service for students, staff, faculty and alumni. The organization offers free services to assist entrepreneurs in turning their ideas, skills and passions into real-world businesses and nonprofit organizations through individualized coaching and venture creation support.

For more information about the event, email Blackstone LaunchPad UM’s AmeriCorps volunteer Blake Cilwick at


Contact: Morgan Slemberger, marketing and operations manager, UM Blackstone LaunchPad, 406-243-5723,