Legendary Colorado State University football coach Sonny Lubick to headline opening kick off of Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge

Note to Reporters: A photo of Sonny Lubick is available with this release at news.colostate.edu

FORT COLLINS — The opening ceremony will introduce CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge competitors, judges, and sponsorship partners; inspire and motivate audience members with rousing presentations, and jumpstart the Challenge weekend. The Challenge will be preceded by Fort Collins Startup Week, May 19-25.

The 17 competitors are established startup companies from across the country, and the winner of the Challenge’s Collegiate Track, who will pitch their businesses to panels of judges starting at 9 a.m. on May 24 at the Lincoln Center, in hopes of winning the grand prize of $250,000 in cash.

The opening night ceremonies kick off with an inspiring speech by former Colorado State University head football coach Sonny Lubick, who will speak about preparation and the importance of character for anyone competing at a high level.

The first night’s festivities also will feature a conversation about entrepreneurship with Curt Richardson, co-founder of Blue Ocean Enterprises, the presenting sponsor of the competition. Richardson also is the founder and chairman of OtterBox, a global leader in mobile device protection.

The Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge pitch competition was created to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit, attract and recognize the best new business ideas, and celebrate the Fort Collins and Colorado entrepreneurial ecosystems. The event is a collaboration between Blue Ocean Enterprises and CSU’s Institute for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business, with major support from HP, E-Myth, 1st Bank, and the City of Fort Collins.

The opening ceremony, competitor pitches and all Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge Venture Fest events at Lincoln Center on May 24 are free and open to the public, but online registration is required. For more information and to register, visit www.blueoceanchallenge.com.


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 www.blueoceanchallenge.com.


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 www.blueocean-inc.com 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 www.colostate.edu.