Application Deadline for Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge Business Pitch Competition Extended to Dec. 31

Startup firms and entrepreneurs around the country have additional time to apply to compete in the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, the nation’s premier business pitch competition. Organizers today announced that they have extended the application deadline to midnight on Dec. 31, 2013. Information and an online application to compete are available at

Collegiate entrepreneurs, startups seeking capital, and existing businesses seeking expansion capital are invited to compete for a grand prize package of $250,000 in funding, intensive strategy and operations support, and a 12-month business mentoring program, presented by Blue Ocean Enterprises and Colorado State University.

A panel of distinguished judges from CSU’s College of Business, Blue Ocean Enterprises, and the national business community will select up to 40 finalists from the competition’s Collegiate and Enterprise Tracks. Finalists will to participate in a three-month business coaching and pitch consultation program leading up to the live competition on May 24, 2014, in Fort Collins.

“We’re excited by the quality of applications for the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge and urge other young companies to apply to pitch their ideas to our judges,” said Charisse Bowen, Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship at Colorado State University and Co-Director of the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge. “There’s a huge opportunity for the right idea and an emerging company leader to win investment capital and mentorship, and we encourage entrepreneurs to apply today.”

Visionary sponsor
The Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge also announced today that Hewlett-Packard will support the competition as a visionary sponsor.

“As a visionary sponsor for the Blue Ocean Challenge, HP is fueling the development and growth of the next generation of startups,” said Jim Zafarana, vice president and general manager, Commercial Solutions Business Unit, HP. “HP is the ultimate ‘start-up’ story, as Bill Hewlett and David Packard built a legendary global Silicon Valley company out of their garage as young entrepreneurs.”


The Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is the richest annual business pitch competition in Colorado, as measured by its grand prize of $250,000. Presented by the Colorado State University College of Business and Blue Ocean Enterprises, the competition is a celebration of innovation, leadership development, and job creation. The Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is open to collegiate entrepreneurs throughout Colorado, startups, and existing companies seeking funding and business mentoring. More information is available at

Headquartered in Fort Collins, Colo., Blue Ocean Enterprises was established in 2011 by OtterBox Founder and Chairman Curt Richardson and his wife, Nancy Richardson, to provide business mentoring, accounting, legal, information technology, real estate, and human relations services to its affiliated companies.

Blue Ocean Holdings LLC was established in 2011 by the Richardsons as an investment management company that commits capital to promising businesses and strategically invests in commercial real estate. Blue Ocean Holdings currently invests in more than a dozen Fort Collins-area businesses and owns more than 400,000 square feet of commercial property. Visit for more information.

Founded in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College, Colorado State University is now among the nation’s leading research universities. Located in Fort Collins, CSU currently enrolls about 22,565 undergraduate students, 3,900 graduate students and 540 Professional Veterinary Medicine students, and has more than 1,600 faculty members working in eight colleges.

The College of Business is home to one of the largest undergraduate majors on Colorado State’s campus, with more than 3,800 students enrolled in six business concentrations. Through a strong cross-campus collaborative initiative, the Institute for Entrepreneurship is working to help foster an entrepreneurial environment in every college. More information is available at