CSU team wins collegiate Blue Ocean Challenge

FORT COLLINS – A team made up of CSU students won the collegiate Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, making them eligible to compete in the professional challenge on May 23 and 24.

Fargreen, founded by a group of MBA students at CSU, will help Vietnamese farmers grow gourmet mushrooms in straw leftover from the rice harvest. The technique’s benefits are two-fold, according to a release from CSU Monday.
Growing the mushrooms will provide an additional source of income for the farmers and will also combat the environmental problems associated with burning rice straw as waste.

As the winners of the collegiate competition, Fargreen was awarded $20,000 in cash and one year of business coaching from EMyth, an Oregon-based business consultant, and one year of business mentoring from Blue Ocean Enterprises, a Fort Collins-based company launched by OtterBox founder Curt Richardson.

Fargreen will also compete in the next round of Blue Ocean Challenge competition, which pits 16 established startups against each other in a contest later this month.

“This money brings us one step closer to our goal of $150,000 to build our production facility in Vietnam,´ said Trang Tran, co-founder of Fargreen in a statement. She and business partner Tanmay Telang will receive their degrees from the CSU Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise program later this month.

Second prize in the collegiate contest, worth $10,000, went to Living Ink Technologies, founded by Scott Fulbright and Steve Albers, Ph.D. candidates at CSU. Third place, worth $5,000, went to MemPrint Dynamics, created by Robert Altman and KatieRae Williams, engineers from CU.

Prizes were awarded on May 2 after contestants pitched their business plans to a panel of judges.

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