Building on the success of the first Outdoor Industry Accelerator
The second-ever Outdoor Accelerator, facilitated by the ICELab at Western, will take place in the spring of 2021. Moosejaw Mountaineering, the title sponsor, is one of the top outdoor retailers in the US.
“We’re very excited to be back at Western and in the Gunnison Valley,” said Eoin Comerford, Moosejaw’s CEO. “Our first partnership with ICELab in 2019 was very successful, launching three outdoor companies that are in business two years later. We plan to make this second acceleration program even bigger and better.”
Changes for 2021 include focusing on underrepresented groups within the outdoor industry and having Moosejaw customers vote on the final accelerator participants. Also new for 2021, Camber Outdoors, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and sustaining inclusive equitable and diverse workplaces, will support finalists with free member tools and resources to build their workplace systems.
Western’s president Greg Salsbury weighs in, “We’re grateful to Moosejaw’s visionary commitment to this cutting-edge business-mentoring program. We commend their belief in the power of our entrepreneurial and creative community. We are excited that the Moosejaw Accelerator is landing again at the ICELab at Western.”
The four chosen outdoor startups will participate in a comprehensive program to turbocharge their growth:
- An 8-week intensive mentoring program guided by ICELab and based on its established curriculum, including 5 weeks on location at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, CO and a week in Boulder, CO including sessions with Moosejaw experts on strategy, marketing, ecommerce and retail.
- Product launch on Moosejaw.com and in Moosejaw stores with a complete marketing and social media package.
- Free membership in Camber Outdoors with access to resources that help build inclusivity into their business from the ground up.
- Free legal consultation from the law firm of Holland & Hart LLP on everything from company formation and investment agreements to intellectual property.
- A feature article on GearJunkie, the authority on outdoor and adventure news, gear, and culture.
One of the three graduates of the first outdoor industry accelerator, Craig Payne, founded Hustle Bike Labs and is relocating the company from Texas to Gunnison. Hustle manufactures rare earth magnetic pedals and bike shoes that split the difference between flat pedals and clipless. “Hustle’s invention is going to be a hit with consumers,” said Comerford, “Our consumer research shows that many of the biggest cycling mishaps are when riders can’t release from their clipless pedals. We’re currently in talks with Hustle to launch their pedal and shoe system at Moosejaw.”
The law firm of Holland & Hart LLP is also partnering with Moosejaw, the ICELab at Western, and Camber Outdoors to sponsor the Outdoor Industry Accelerator. “We really appreciate and acknowledge the firm’s commitment to, and experience in, the outdoor industry,” said David Assad, ICELab Director. “Holland & Hart has provided invaluable advice and counsel to the entrepreneurs that participated in our first Outdoor Industry Accelerator, and it has award winning corporate and intellectual property practices in the Mountain West region.”
“The ICELab continues to support teams from the 2019 cohort when opportunities arise,” said Assad “and we know having more founders in our Outdoor Accelerator network over time will continue to increase the value of the program.”
About Moosejaw: Founded in 1992, Moosejaw is a leading online active outdoor retailer with a large web presence as well as 12 physical stores. It carries more than 500 brands, including The North Face, Marmot, Fjallraven and includes an extensive assortment of apparel and gear for climbing, hiking, camping, snow sports, yoga, swimming and biking. Acquired by Walmart in 2017, Moosejaw is headquartered in Madison Heights, Michigan.
For more information, please visit Moosejaw.com.
About ICELab at Western: The ICELab enables you to live where you want to play and is Gunnison’s all-in-one business resource center. The facility includes coworking space, private office space, fully equipped conference rooms and even a coffee-shop. Our location on the Western Colorado University campus makes the ICELab an ideal fusion point for the business community and the University.
For more information, please visit ICELab.co.
About Western Colorado University: Situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Western Colorado University offers a vast outdoor research laboratory with unparalleled opportunities for students to learn and gain hands-on experience. The highly ranked university has 3,000+ undergraduates and offers 100+ areas of study.
For more information, please visit Western.edu.
About Camber Outdoors: Camber Outdoors is a national nonprofit supporting workplace inclusion, equity, and diversity in the active-outdoor industries. We partner with our members to build equitable systems, a strong network of talent, and inclusive leadership practices to inspire workplaces truly for everyone.
For more information, please visit CamberOutdoors.org.
About Holland & Hart LLP: Starting as a two-man outfit in the 1940s, Holland & Hart has become one of the largest firms in the Rocky Mountain West. Among its most notable practices are litigation, business law, tax and estates, employment law, IP, and real estate law. Now with more than 400 lawyers, Holland & Hart has offices in Colorado; Idaho; Montana; Nevada; New Mexico; Utah; Wyoming; and Washington, DC.
For more information, please visit HollandHart.com.
GearJunkie: GearJunkie leads the outdoor industry in breaking news and product reviews in the active-lifestyle world. From offices in Denver and Minneapolis, GearJunkie’s journalists, writers, and video producers advance the conversation online and beyond. Millions of monthly readers follow GearJunkie and engage through our active social and newsletter channels. GearJunkie.com
Contact: David Assad, [email protected], (225) 715-8857