Decibullz wins Blue Ocean challenge

FORT COLLINS – Loveland-based Decibullz LLC won the inaugural CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge business-pitch competition over the weekend, taking home $250,000 in cash, plus other prizes.

Decibullz makes earphones and earpieces that can be molded to the shape of users’ ears. The $50 product is the brainchild of founder Kyle Kirkpatrick, a gymnastics coach who wanted better-fitting earphones that wouldn’t fall out during exercise.

In addition to the cash, Decibullz won six months of business coaching from EMyth, a year of entrepreneurship mentoring from Blue Ocean Enterprises and $20,000 in equipment from Hewlett-Packard.

The CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is a collaboration of Colorado State University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business and Blue Ocean Enterprises. Sixteen entrepreneurs pitched their ideas over the weekend for a chance at the top prize.

Denver-based GoSpotCheck Inc., which makes a software-as-a-service platform for streamlining data collection, took second place in the challenge, winning $25,000 cash and $10,000 of equipment from H-P.

Fargreen, winner of the collegiate track of the competition, took the third prize of $10,000 cash and $5,000 in equipment from H-P. Fargreen, founded by a pair of CSU MBA graduates, will help Vietnamese farmers grow gourmet mushrooms from leftover straw from the rice harvest.

All five finalists, including Pay Stand of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Community Funded of Fort Collins, receive six months of coaching from EMyth.

Also over the weekend, three collegiate track competitors won prizes in the Trolley Pitch competition as 10 entrepreneurs gave two-minute pitches to judges onboard the Fort Collins Municipal Railway Birney Car 21. BAUS Tech won the top trolley-pitch prize of $3,000, with deYrd taking second, $2,000; and TurfToes taking third, $1,000.

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