May 12, 2014

FVCC Team Selected to Participate in UM Business Plan Competition

Four students from Flathead Valley Community College will be competing in The University of Montana’s 25th annual John Ruffatto Business Plan Competition May 15.  All of the students are enrolled in FVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing program.

Tyler Godbold, Kaleb Griepp, Nate Peterson and Carol Vincent submitted a written business plan detailing the development and commercialization of their startup company, Bold 3DTM,LLCto the competition. They were selected from multiple applicants to compete against 15 other teams from The University of Montana, Montana State University and other higher education institutions.  This will be the first time FVCC has competed in this prestigious competition.

Bold 3DTMis developing an advanced industrial additive-manufacturing (3D) printing system with the unique ability to use hard-point graphing to create durable, lightweight products by copying fractal patterns found in naturally-occurring crystal-lattice structures.  The combination of the company’sunique printer design and proprietarysoftware will efficiently deposit strategically-shaped quantities and combinations of material in structurally key points, dramatically reducing the density of printed objects while also making them stronger.

Bold 3DTMhas identified a market opportunity due to the fact that none of the world’s six generally recognized approaches to additive-manufacturing possess the versatility to produce end products that are light-weight, flexible and durable enough to replace metal parts in the aerospace, medical and military fields.  As a result, the market has little choice but to use heavier metal parts or accept inferior additive-manufactured products that deliver shorter useful lives, and in some cases, serious risk exposure.

The John Ruffatto Business Plan Competition is judged by successful business leaders who are committed to the advancement of entrepreneurship. The competition is intended to simulate the real-world process of entrepreneurs soliciting start-up funds from early-stage investors and venture capital firms.  The judges function as investors to decide which enterprises they would most likely fund.  Teams are judged on the quality of their business ideas, the strengths of the management teams and the clarity and persuasiveness of their written plans and oral presentations.  Last year’s competition awarded more than $30,000 in cash prizes and awards, including the winning team which took home $10,000.

For more information, contact FVCC Advanced Manufacturing Specialist Dan Leatzow, Ph.D., at 756-4187 or at