Note to Reporters: Limited seating is available on the trolley car during the pitch competition. Contact Kate Jeracki to schedule.
FORT COLLINS — Most good entrepreneurs can give an elevator pitch, describing their business between floors. The CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge takes the elevator pitch horizontal on the historic Fort Collins trolley car, with the second annual Trolley Pitch competition.
The Challenge is one of the richest business pitch competitions in the nation, with a grand prize of $250,000 on the line. A total of 13 teams from universities across Colorado and 15 established startup companies from across the nation will be going head-to-head on the Colorado State University campus May 27-30.
The Collegiate entrepreneurs will compete for $20,000 and the chance to move on to pitch against the Enterprise teams for the grand prize, which also includes business mentoring from the executives of Fort Collins-based Blue Ocean Enterprises.
Collegiate competitors not moving on have a chance to win some capital for their business on the Streetcar named Inspire. Teams have the time it takes to travel between trolley stops, or about 2 minutes, to describe their business idea and answer questions from the on-board judges — over the roar of the engines and the clang of the bell while traveling backward past cheering fans lined up along the tracks. The best pitchers under pressure take home $2,000 in cash.
The only-in-Fort-Collins event takes place Friday, May 29, at 3 p.m., following the first round of Enterprise competition. U.S Rep. Jared Polis will be on hand to launch the renamed Streetcar Named Inspire on its entrepreneurial adventure.
The fun starts at 401 W. Mountain Ave., outside the offices of Blue Ocean, where spectators can also play the Invest in Me game. There, anyone can obtain special Blue Bucks, listen to the competitors before they hop on the trolley, and award teams with the most convincing pitches some of those Blue Bucks. The team that collects the most investors will win some real bucks, too.
Winners of the Trolley Pitches and the Invest in Me game will be announced on May 30, at 7 p.m., along with the overall winner of the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, in the Lory Student Center on the CSU campus.
For more information, to register to attend any of the events, or sign up to volunteer to be part of this incredible Challenge, go to www.blueoceanchallenge.com.
The CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is presented in conjunction with Fort Collins Startup Week. For a complete schedule of FCSW events, go to ftcstartupweek.co.