Jan. 30 deadline to apply for $250,000 CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge business pitch competition

FORT COLLINS — The deadline to apply to compete in the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, one of the nation’s richest business pitch competitions, is just days away — Jan. 30, 2015. Collegiate entrepreneurs from the state of Colorado, startups seeking capital, and existing businesses seeking expansion capital are invited to apply online for a chance at a grand prize package of $250,000 in funding and a 12-month business mentoring program.

The second annual competition will take place the week of May 26-30, 2015, in Fort Collins, Colorado, during the second annual Fort Collins Startup Week. Interested entrepreneurs may learn more about the application criteria and submit applications to compete in one of two tracks at www.blueoceanchallenge.com:

The Enterprise Track competition is open to startups and established companies in any industry. Applicants in this track must be based in the United States and have gross revenue of $100,000 in the past 12 months or have raised a minimum of $100,000 in capital. This competition will award a $250,000 grand prize and other awards.

The Collegiate Track competition is open to actively enrolled undergraduate or graduate student entrepreneurs attending any accredited university or college in Colorado or who have graduated in the last 12 months from an accredited university in the state of Colorado. This competition will award a $20,000 grand prize and other awards.

The 2015 CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge will feature a tournament structure that uses a bracket format in a single-elimination pitch tournament. Teams will make timed business presentations to a panel of expert judges.

The deadline to apply online for the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge (both tracks) is 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time Jan. 30, 2015. Additional information for applicants, potential competition sponsors, and interested volunteers is available at www.blueoceanchallenge.com.

Questions about the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge may be directed to Christine Chin, Christine.Chin@business.colostate.edu. Information about Fort Collins Startup Week is available a http://www.ftcstartupweek.co/.



The CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, one of the nation’s richest business pitch competitions,is presented by Colorado State University and Blue Ocean Enterprises.The competition is a celebration of innovation, leadership development, and job creation. The CSU 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, Colorado, 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 22,000 undergraduate students, 3,100 graduate students and 500 Professional Veterinary Medicine students, and has more than 1,700 faculty members working in eight colleges on four local campuses. More information is available at www.colostate.edu.