We Have WINNERS!
We’re super excited by this year’s responses to the Moosejaw Outdoor Accelerator. We received over 40 applications from amazing startups. Once we chose 10 finalists, over 5,600 outdoor enthusiasts voted for their favorite startups to participate in the Accelerator. A heart-felt “thank you” to all who applied and participated in voting!
Now without further ado, here are this year’s winners (sorry for saying “ado”):
Fernweh Food Co. – Portland, OR
About: Fernweh Food Co. makes great tasting, plant-based and gluten-free dehydrated meals - all in sustainable packaging. This woman-led team aims to reduce waste in the adventure food industry by eliminating single-use plastics that end up in landfills. Fernweh’s packaging is entirely omnidegradable, and will break down into biomass and CO2 no matter where it ends up. On top of sustainable packaging, the meals are delicious and entirely vegan and free of preservatives.
Founder: Ashley Lance
Near Zero - Arizona
About: Near Zero specializes in bundled lightweight backpacking gear designed to give everyone the confidence to get out and go. Their patent-pending backpack design delivers quick and easy access to all you gear using a labeled and compartmentalized storage system that is designed to maximize comfort and optimize weight distribution. Near Zero even builds standard ultralight bundles, making it convenient to get out there for newcomers and old pros alike.
Founder: Scott Jensen
WNDR Outdoors – Colorado & Vermont
About: Created by plus-size adventurers for plus-size adventurers, WNDR Outdoors strives to increase representation of larger-bodied folks outdoors by creating technical outdoor apparel in true plus sizes. 68% of women in the US are a size 14 and above, yet the outdoor industry has historically excluded this population. Finding plus-size technical hiking pants that are high quality, fit comfortably, and have useful tech specs is difficult. Brands that do include plus-sizes most commonly only go up to size 22 and these extended-sizes of the straight size (non-plus size) fits are not made with plus-size bodies in mind. WNDR Outdoors aims to change that.
Founders: Arwen Turner & Kara Hardman
Coastal Range Equipment – Oakland, CA
About: Coastal Range Equipment engineers lightweight, high quality, and easy-to-uses outdoor cooking gear designed to fuel human-powered outdoor activities. These stoves are designed by an award-winning designer of camping stoves who set out on his own to further innovate in the camp stove space. Coastal Range Equipment produces affordable, simple solutions to backcountry cooking that are accessible to all.
Founder: John Peretti
At Moosejaw we know two things: there are never enough cool, new outdoor products, and there’s not enough diversity in the outdoor industry. So, we got together with some of our friends and created the Moosejaw Outdoor Accelerator. This new program will help a diverse group of entrepreneurs create solutions for enjoying the outdoors with more comfort, safety, sustainability and inclusion.
The Moosejaw Outdoor Accelerator will provide four chosen outdoor start-ups with in a comprehensive program to turbocharge their growth:
- An 8-week intensive business mentoring program guided by ICELab based on its established curriculum, including 5 weeks on location at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, CO and a week in Denver, CO. On-site lodging is included.
- Sessions with Moosejaw experts on strategy, marketing, ecommerce and retail.
- Connections with potential investors and a large outdoor recreation network.
- Participation at The Big Gear Show in Denver, CO.
- Product launch on Moosejaw.com and in Moosejaw stores with a complete marketing and social media package.
- Participants receive free legal seminars from Holland & Hart LLP geared towards outdoor rec companies.
- The Moosejaw Outdoor Accelerator and participants will receive press support from Blister.
Here's How It All Works
Jan 2 to Feb 2: Startups Apply
We are looking for early stage companies that have a product or service that addresses a compelling need in the outdoor industry. The product or service needs to be well defined but can be pre-revenue. We are especially interested in diverse candidates and/or products or services that will improve outdoor inclusivity.
Feb 24: Finalists Announced
The Accelerator Judging Panel reviews all of the applications and chooses 10 finalists.
Feb 24 to Mar 6: Consumer Voting
Moosejaw customers vote on their favorite start-ups.
Mar 14: Winners Announced
The Accelerator Judging Panel announces the four start-ups to participate in the 2023 Moosejaw Outdoor Accelerator. At least two of the winners will have founders from underrepresented groups within the outdoor industry.
May 8 to Jun 29: The Accelerator
Winning start-ups complete the 8-week program. The first two weeks are virtual, followed by a week in Denver, CO and 5 weeks in Gunnison.
Meet Our Sponsors
Frequently Asked Questions (aka FAQ)
Startups and early stage (pre-seed or seed) companies from any US state can apply. These companies will typically be pre-revenue, but with a well-developed business plan and potentially a prototype for physical products. We’re targeting founders from under-represented groups in the outdoor industry or businesses that would help improve inclusivity of outdoor participation; however, neither are a requirement for applying and selection.
The Moosejaw Outdoor Accelerator comes at no cost to apply or to finalists. We do not require any fees or equity grants.
While we do not provide funding directly, all costs, including lodging, will be covered for the winning startups. We will also help with investment mentoring, legal advice, and connections to potential investors.
Moosejaw’s very own Eoin Comerford, CEO; John Norton, Principal, Norton Global; Mike Dill, Partner, Holland & Hart.