28 competitors selected for $250,000 Colorado State University Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge; founder of Priceline.com to present keynote

Note to Reporters: A copy of the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge logo is available with this release at news.colostate.edu

Organizers of the Colorado State University Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, one of the nation’s richest business pitch competitions, today announced the 13 Collegiate Track and 15 Enterprise Track competitors who have been selected to pitch their business ideas in May for a grand prize package of $250,000 in cash and a 12-month business mentoring program. The competitors were selected from more than 130 applications and represent 15 industry categories, three Colorado universities, and five states.

The competition is presented by Blue Ocean Enterprises and Colorado State University, with major support from Hewlett-Packard, ViaWest, 1stBank, City of Fort Collins, Otterbox, Growth Curve Institute, Ethos 3, Nerdy Mind, and EKS&H.

Collegiate Track competitors will pitch their businesses to a panel of high-profile judges on May 27, 2015, and Enterprise Track competitors — all established startups — will compete on May 29-30. The winner of the Collegiate Track will receive $20,000 in cash, business mentoring, and a slot to compete in the Enterprise Track for a grand prize of $250,000. All events will be held on the campus of Colorado State University and are free and open to the public.

The Collegiate Track competitors are:

·       Axios Impact Investments, Colorado State University

·       BOOM Algae, University of Colorado Boulder

·       Change Composites, Colorado State University

·       ChemWithRay, Colorado State University

·       GameCentrics LLC, Colorado State University

·       Native, University of Colorado Boulder

·       NuBru Coffee, University of Colorado Boulder

·       QuadshoX, Colorado State University

·       Rocky Mountain Sriracha, Colorado Mesa University

·       The Space Research Company LLC, University of Colorado Boulder

·       Viagozo, Colorado State University

·       Wise Art Foods LLC, Colorado State University

·       YOUglycemia, University of Colorado Boulder

The Enterprise Track competitors are:

·       Behavioral Response Technologies, Boulder, Colo.

·       Conspire, Boulder, Colo.

·       Content BLVD, Los Angeles, Calif.

·       Extrude to Fill, Loveland, Colo.

·       Jebbit, Inc., Boston, Mass.

·       Kapta, Boulder, Colo.

·       Membrane Protective Technologies, Inc., Fort Collins, Colo.

·       Mozio, San Francisco, Calif.

·       Notion, Denver, Colo.

·       OptiEnz Sensors LLC, Fort Collins, Colo.

·       Parkifi, Morrison, Colo.

·       QBLabs, Parker, Colo.

·       Shelvspace Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz.

·       Synkera Technologies, Inc., Longmont, Colo.

·       VerbalizeIt, Inc., New York, N.Y.

“The quality, innovation, and creativity represented by applicants of the second annual CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge exceeded our expectations,” said Christine Chin, interim director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship at Colorado State University and co-director of the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge. “The competitors exemplify the entrepreneurial passions and game-changing ideas that are driving our growing economy, and we look forward to their pitches.”

Keynote speaker Jeff Hoffman

Organizers of the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge also announced that Jeff Hoffman, successful entrepreneur, global business adviser, and motivational speaker will deliver the competition’s keynote address on May 30 on the topic of innovation, entrepreneurship, and business leadership and will serve as a judge for the Enterprise Track competition.

Hoffman has served as CEO of numerous public and private companies and has been part of well-known companies including Priceline.com, uBid.com, CTI, ColorJar, and more. He supports entrepreneurs and small businesses around the world, serving on the global advisory boards of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the U.S. State Department’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology Program, the APEC Startup Initiative, and many others. He supports the White House, the State Department, USAID, and other international organizations on economic growth initiatives and entrepreneurship programs.

Unique to the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, competitors have the opportunity to participate in educational workshops that will prepare them for the competitions in May. The goal of the workshops is to add significant value to the competitors’ experiences, while refining their business plans and improving their pitches.

In addition to the live, on-stage competition in front of a panel of expert judges, the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge will feature a number of events that showcase entrepreneurship, including:

·       Youth Entrepreneur Showcase, featuring a panel of young entrepreneurs and the Larimer County (Colo.) Entrepreneurial Youth Tournament

·       Trolley Pitch Competition, a variation on the elevator pitch that takes place on the historic Fort Collins Trolley; Collegiate Track competitors have the time it takes to travel from one trolley stop to the next to pitch their business in front of judges, over the roar of the engines, the clang of the bells – and while moving backwards.

·       Social events and more.

Information about the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is available at www.blueoceanchallenge.com.





The CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is one of the nation’s richest business pitch competitions, as measured by its grand prize of $250,000. 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 across the U.S. More information is available at www.blueoceanchallenge.com.


Headquartered in Fort Collins, Colo., Blue Ocean Enterprises is a management company established in 2011 by Otter Products 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.


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 1,600 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.