CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge announces judges for second annual $250,000 business pitch comepetition

Organizers of the second annual CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, an innovative business pitch competition for entrepreneurs to be held in Fort Collins, Colo., today announced its panels of expert judges for each round of the competition. Twenty-eight companies will pitch on stage at the Lory Student Center on the campus of Colorado State University in front of the judges, many of whom are successful entrepreneurs in their own right, and a live audience.

The Collegiate Competition will be held May 27, and will award a $20,000 grand prize and other awards. Judges for each round of the Collegiate Competition are:

Collegiate Competition Seed Round

·       Gerry Caron, Otter Products

·       Christine Hudson, Rally

·       Russ Kittell, United Launch Alliance (retired)

·       Kyle Kirkpatrick, Decibullz (winner of the 2014 Challenge)

·       Meade Malone, MWM Global Holdings Ltd.

·       David Tolson, Capital Value Advisors

·       Robert Ward, PwC

Collegiate Competition Semifinal and Final Rounds

·       Libby Cook, Philanthropiece Foundation

·       Daniel Epstein, Unreasonable Group

·       Lawrence Mandes, Galvanize

·       Sanjay Mehta, Trend Micro

·       Alex Welch, Lasso Media

The CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge also announced that U.S. Rep. Jared Polis will kick off the Collegiate Competition’s Trolley Pitch on May 29 by ringing the bell of Birney Car 21, the historic Fort Collins Municipal Railway trolley car. Companies have just the time it takes to travel to the next stop to pitch their business ideas to the judges on board. 

Collegiate Competition Trolley Pitch

·       Tamara Kleinberg, The Shuuk

·       Lisa Tessarowicz, CALM Foundation

·       Jose Vieitz, Boomtown Accelerator

The Enterprise Competition will take place on May 29-30, during Fort Collins Startup Week, and will award a $250,000 grand prize and other awards. Judges for each round of the Enterprise Competition are:

Enterprise Competition Seed Round

·       Scott Bergquist, Silicon Valley Bank

·       David Gold, Access Venture Partners

·       Kyle Hansen, Outward Hound

·       Bill Heuston, ViaWest 

·       Sue Kunz, ThriveOn Group

·       Juan Velez, Aurora Organic Farms, Inc.

·       Jeff Wood, HP

Enterprise Competition Quarterfinal Rounds

·       Gary Wayne Clark, Venture Capitalist and Angel Investor

·       AJ Dye, Delta Electronics Capital

·       Todd Lemley, ThriveOn Group

·       John Marotta, Emerge Medical, Inc,

·       Ashok Reddy, Unreasonable Capital

Enterprise Competition Semifinal and Final Rounds

·       Kyle Cox, ATP Fund

·       Sue Heilbronner, MergeLane

·       Jeff Hoffman, Priceline, who is also the keynote speaker on May 30

·       Kate Shillo, Galvanize Ventures

·       Peter Adams, Rockies Venture Club

All events in the 2015 CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge are free and open to the public, but online registration is required. The competition is also seeking volunteers to assist during the events. Visit www.blueoceanchallenge.com to register or to sign up to volunteer.

Information about Fort Collins Startup Week is available at www.ftcstartupweek.co/.



The CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is one of the richest business pitch competitions in the nation, 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. More information is available at www.blueoceanchallenge.com.



Headquartered in Fort Collins, Colo., Blue Ocean Enterprises is a management company 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. 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. More information is available at www.colostate.edu.