Decibullz Bests 16 Startups to Win $250K Prize at Pitch Competition


Decibullz, a startup that sells earphones and earpieces that buyers can custom mold for a unique fit, took home $250,000 Saturday after winning the inaugural CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge.

Decibullz, which is based in Loveland, CO, beat out 16 other startups to win the pitch competition.

The event, which was in Fort Collins, CO, was the culmination of a business competition that launched last October. It was organized by Colorado State University and underwritten by Blue Ocean Enterprises, an investment management and services company owned by Curt Richardson, who is the founder, chairman, and owner of OtterBox, the maker of the popular brand of mobile phone cases.

Decibullz’s pitch is that its earphones and earbuds are more comfortable than conventional earpieces and never fall out. The company’s marketing material targets athletes like runners, cyclists, and fitness professionals.

The earphones made by the company retail for $49.99. The startup also makes earpieces that can replace the ones other retailers include with their earphones.

Customers mold the earpieces by placing them in hot water to soften the plastic and then place them in their ears to create a custom shape. They can be remolded until the best fit is achieved.

Kyle Kirkpatrick, who is a gymnastics coach in his day job, founded the company, and its long-term vision is to expand to include earpieces that work with Bluetooth devices, hearing aids, and military and police radios.

GoSpotCheck, a Denver-based company, won second place and will receive $25,000 in cash. GoSpotCheck makes cloud-based software that streamlines data collection for businesses.

GoSpotCheck was founded by Matt Talbot and Samantha Holloway and went through Techstars Boulder in 2011. In April, the company was part of the first Google demo day, where it received $100,000 from AOL founder Steve Case.