Business pitch finalists announced for $250K Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge set for May

By: Steve Tuesday February 11, 2014 0 comments Tags: Charisse Bowen, Fort Collins, Kurt Hoeven, OtterBox

By Steve Porter


FORT COLLINS - The names of 32 companies - 16 from Colorado colleges and universities and 16 from established startups across the U.S. - were announced today at Colorado State University to pitch for funding at the inaugural $250,000 Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge to be held May 23-25.

The 32 finalists were selected from more than 120 applicants and represent 22 industry categories from eight states.

"We're excited about the diversity, the creativity and the passion of the applicants," said Charisse Bowen, director of CSU's Institute for Entrepreneurship and co-director of the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge.

"It's really an amazing group of companies that we're looking forward to sharing with the world on Memorial Day weekend."

Bowen said the finalists will have the opportunity to take part in three educational workshops "to add significant value to their business plans and increase their chances of winning."

Co-presented by the CSU College of Business and Blue Ocean Enterprises, the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is a celebration of innovation, leadership development and job creation.

The $250,000 pitch competition is the largest in Colorado. Kurt Hoeven, CEO of Blue Ocean Holdings, said the competition is intended to be an annual event.

"We have every expectation of this being annual event," he said. "We think this is a wonderful platform to support all these innovative activities and that it grows as the years go by."CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge

Collegiate track finalists, representing four Colorado universities, will pitch their business plans to a panel of judges on May 2. They are:

  • Alkaline, CU-Boulder

  • ARTery, DU

  • BAUS Tech, CSU

  • Beyon Modern LLC, CSU

  • CDP Innovations, CSU

  • Congo Ltd, CU-Boulder

  • Convenient Nutrition Solutions, CSU

  • Crimson Oak Clothing, CSU

  • deYrd, CSU

  •, CSU

  • Fargreen, CSU

  • Hinde-Ramey Precision Agronomics, CSU

  • Living Ink Technologies, CSU

  • MemPrint Dynamics, CU-Boulder

  • Neumimic, Air Force Academy

  • TurfToes, CSU


Enterprise track finalists are:

  • 5280 Prosthetics, Littleton

  • Community Funded Enterprises, Fort Collins

  • Decibulz Custom Molded Earphones, Loveland

  • E-Flux, Fort Collins

  • GoSpotCheck, Denver

  • IDDEX, Greenwich, Conn.

  • Molecular Assemblies Inc., San Diego, Calif.

  • Oso Technologies, Champaign, Ill.

  • PayStand, Santa Cruz, Calif.

  • Rachio, Denver

  • Radish Systems, Boulder

  • ReadyGraph, Brooklyn, N.Y.

  • Silver Bullet Water Treatment Co., Denver

  • Teleos Media, Sunnyvale, Calif.

  • Vendevor, Dallas, Tex.

  • ZBoard, Modesto, Calif.


Menno Axt, a partner with Mitchell Friermood with the startup Crimson Oak Clothing, said he was "super excited" to be among the collegiate finalists.

"Not only for the opportunity to present at Blue Ocean, but also to take part in the preparation workshops going on before it," Axt said. "I know that will be very helpful to us."

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