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Fargreen wins $20,000 in Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge Collegiate Track

May 4, 2014

The second prize of $10,000 was awarded to Living Ink Technologies, founded by CSU Ph.D. candidates Scott Fulbright and Steve Albers, and the competition's third prize of $5,000 went to MemPrint Dynamics, a team from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Fron left: College of Business Dean Ajay Menon, Institute for Entrepreneurship Director Charisse Bowen, Fargreen co-founders Tanmay Telang and Trang Tran, Blue Ocean Enterprises CEO Kurt Hoeven, OtterBox founder Curt Richardson and HP VPJim Zafarana.Fargreen, a social enterprise founded by students in the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA program in the CSU College of Business, has won the inaugural CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge Collegiate Track business pitch competition.

Co-founders Trang Tran and Tanmay Telang earned a grand prize of $20,000 in cash, one year of business coaching from EMyth, one year of entrepreneurship mentoring from Blue Ocean Enterprises, $2,500 in equipment from HP, and now move on to compete in the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge Enterprise Track, with a grand prize of $250,000, on May 24. (Trang and Tranmay will receive their degrees at the May 17 commencement ceremonies.)

Fargreen is a social enterprise that will help Vietnamese farmers grow mushrooms grown in straw left over after the rice harvest. The zero-waste technique helps generate additional income for farmers while combatting the environmental problems of burning  rice straw as waste.

Closer to their goal

“Winning the Blue Ocean Challenge is more than a dream come true,” Trang said.  “This money brings us one step closer to our goal of $150,000 to build our production facility in Vietnam.”

“We didn’t expect this,” Tanmay added. ”We had a social enterprise, but to find that we also have a solid business model is very gratifying.”

This is the latest win for Fargreen, which has brought home cash prizes from business case competitions across the nation. The company is also a finalist for a $90,000 fellowship grant to be announced later this month.

Living Ink founders Scott Fulbright, left center, and Steve Albers, with Charisse Bowen, CSU's Institute for Entrepreneurship, and Curt Richardson, Blue Ocean and OtterBox.The second prize of $10,000 was awarded to Living Ink Technologies,founded by Scott Fulbright and Steve Albers, Ph.D. candidates in cell biology at CSU, and the competition’s third prize of $5,000 went to MemPrint Dynamics, a team of engineers from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

All-day competition

Prizes were awarded Friday night, after an intense day of competition, at the Fort Collins Lincoln Center by Curt Richardson, co-founder of Blue Ocean Enterprises and founder and chairman of OtterBox; Charisse Bowen, director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship; and Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Business.

“We congratulate Fargreen and are very proud of all of the Collegiate Track competitors, who spent months refining their pitches and preparing to win,” said Bowen. “We are grateful to our panel of honored judges and sponsorship partners for helping to create an event that celebrates collegiate entrepreneurs across Colorado.”

A collaboration of Blue Ocean Enterprises and Colorado State University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and College of Business, with major support from HP, E-Myth, 1st Bank, and the City of Fort Collins, the competition was created to ignite entrepreneurial spirit, attract and recognize the best new business ideas, and celebrate the Fort Collins and Colorado entrepreneurial ecosystem.

For more information and to register to attend or volunteer with the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge events, go to the Blue Ocean Challenge website.