FORT COLLINS – Organizers of the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, the nation’s premier business pitch competition, today announced 16 Collegiate Track and 16 Enterprise Track finalists who have been selected to compete in May for a grand prize package of $250,000 in funding, intensive strategy and operations support, and a 12-month business mentoring program.

The competition’s finalists, selected from more than 120 applicants, represent 22 industry categories and hail from eight states.

The competition is presented by Blue Ocean Enterprises and Colorado State University, with major support from Hewlett-Packard, E-Myth, 1st Bank and the City of Fort Collins.

Collegiate Track competitors, representing four universities in Colorado, will pitch their businesses to a panel of high-profile judges on May 2, and Enterprise Track finalists will compete during the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, a festival of entrepreneurship-focused events that will take place in Fort Collins on May 23-25.

The Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge “Collegiate Track” finalists are: • Alkaline, University of Colorado Boulder • ARTery, University of Denver • BAUS Tech, Colorado State University • Beyon Modern LLC, Colorado State University • CDP Innovations, Colorado State University • Congo Ltd., University of Colorado Boulder • Convenient Nutrition Solutions, Colorado State University • Crimson Oak Clothing, Colorado State University • deYrd , Colorado State University • eyeofthecrowd.com, Colorado State University • Fargreen, Colorado State University • Hinde-Ramey Precision Agronomics, Colorado State University • Living Ink Technologies LLC, Colorado State University • MemPrint Dynamics, University of Colorado Boulder • Neumimic, United States Air Force Academy • TurfToes, Colorado State University

The Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge “Enterprise Track” finalists are: • 5280 Prosthetics LLC, Littleton, Colo. • Community Funded Enterprises, Fort Collins, Colo. • Decibullz Custom Molded Earphones, Loveland, Colo. • E-Flux, Fort Collins, Colo. • GoSpotCheck, Denver, Colo. • IDDEX, Greenwich, Conn. • Molecular Assemblies, Inc., San Diego, Calif. • Oso Technologies, Champaign, Ill. • PayStand, Santa Cruz, Calif. • Rachio, Denver, Colo. • Radish Systems, Boulder, Colo. • ReadyGraph, Brooklyn, N.Y. • Silver Bullet Water Treatment Company, Denver, Colo. • Teleos Media, Sunnyvale, Calif. • Vendevor, Dallas, Texas • ZBoard, Modesto, Calif.

“The innovation and creativity represented by applicants to the inaugural Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge exceeded our expectations,” said Charisse Bowen, director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship at Colorado State University and co-director of the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge. “The finalists exemplify the entrepreneurial passions and game-changing ideas that are driving our growing economy.”

The Collegiate and Enterprise finalists have the opportunity to participate in a series of three 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 increasing their chances of winning.

A weekend of events surrounding the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is being organized by a partnership of Blue Ocean Enterprises, CSU, and other supporters of business growth in Colorado such as Galvanize, Foundry Group, Rocky Mountain Innosphere, and the City of Fort Collins.

Events taking place during the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge include: • Partners Showcase, which will highlight companies from regional incubators and programs across the state, including young business owners from Young Americans Bank and the Larimer County Entrepreneurial Youth Tournament • Hewlett-Packard Design Challenge • Exhibitors Expo • Trolley Pitch Competition • Social events and more

Information about the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is available at http://blueoceanchallenge.com/. A video of the finalists announcement is available here.

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ABOUT THE BLUE OCEAN ENTERPRISES CHALLENGE The Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is the richest annual business pitch competition in Colorado, as measured by its grand prize of $250,000. Presented by the Colorado State University College of Business and Blue Ocean Enterprises, the competition is a celebration of innovation, leadership development, and job creation. The 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.

ABOUT BLUE OCEAN Headquartered in Fort Collins, Colo., 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.

ABOUT COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY 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 22,565 undergraduate students, 3,900 graduate students and 540 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 http://www.colostate.edu