The Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) announced eight finalist for its second annual Pitchfest being held prior to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market on Tuesday, August 2 in Salt Lake City. Each female-led business was selected through an open application process that began in March and selected based on company traction and industry focus.
This year’s finalists include:
● ENERGY Bits is the first company to sell algae as a sports nutrition product. ENERGYBits gives athletes and active consumers energy and focus without caffeine, chemicals or sugar. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.
Presenting Founder: Catharine Arnston
● Hipcamp is the most comprehensive resource for people to find place s to camp on private or public land. Headquartered in San Francisco, California.
Presenting Founder: Alyssa Ravasio
● Intrepid Entrepreneur helps entrepreneurs in the outdoor active lifestyle markets build remarkable brands and profitable businesses. Headquartered in Durango, Colorado.
Presenting Founder: Kristin Carpenter-Ogden
● MyMayu makes innovative, parent-designed gear for families wanting to get the most out of their outdoor adventures. Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Presenting Founder: Suzanne Solsona
● OutdoorFest encourages healthy, active and adventurous lifestyles among urbanites through information, innovation and experience. Headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.
Presenting Founder: Sarah Knapp
● Po Campo makes bike bags and travel bags with waterproof fabric and many pockets to fit electronic devices. Headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.
Presenting Founder: Maria Boustead
● The Renewal Workshop cleans and repairs end-of-use apparel deemed unsellable, and converts it into Renewed Apparel that can be sold to conscientious consumers. Headquartered in Hood River, Oregon.
Presenting Founder: Nicole Bassett
● The Ski Lab provides high-quality ski and snowboard building materials and supplies to meet the needs of hobby and professional ski and snowboard manufacturers. Headquartered in Park City, Utah.
Presenting Founder: Allyson Leang
For more information about these companies and presenting founders, visit www.oiwc.org/pages/pitchfestfinalists.
“According to Inc. magazine, almost half of female entrepreneurs cite a lack of available mentors or advisers as holding them back. We designed Pitchfest to address this gap to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in the active outdoor industries,” said Deanne Buck, executive director of OIWC. “These finalists represent a wide cross-section of unique companies and leaders that truly represent the creative spirit and passion important to the growth of the outdoor, snow, bike, and run industries.”
Finalists are also paired with a mentor who will advise them on articulating the issues most critical to their business’ growth. Mentors include:
- Gregg Bagni is a director with White Road Investments, a fund driven by Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford, founders of Clifbar that helps small mission driven companies grow and prosper.
- Thea Chase is director of the Telluride Venture Accelerator (TVA) in Telluride, Colorado, which is an accelerator program for high growth businesses in the outdoor recreation, travel tourism, natural resource management and the health and wellbeing sectors.
- Julie Imig is a management and strategy consultant and C-level executive with 19 years’ experience in general, operational, product and financial management.
- Ted McAleer is co-founder of Park City Angels, Utah’s most active angel network, and is currently the managing director of PandoLabs where he has worked with more than 50 entrepreneurs and teams in the past 18 months.
- Kelly Dwight O’Neill is an innovative business executive actively engaged in numerous industries as an advisor, investor, strategist, and practitioner. She partners with private equity firms, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and high-growth companies to realize business strategies.
- Ben Rifkin is president of Royal Street Investment and Innovation Center (RSIIC), the previous executive director of the Park City Angels and is an active Board of Directors participant for several companies. Rifkin has a broad range of experience in media, technology, sports, consumer goods and venture capital industries and specific expertise in marketing, sales, operations and capital fundraising. Prior to RSIIC, he spent 10 years in Denver and was publisher of SKI and Skiing magazines, SVP marketing and operations for the US Pro Cycling Challenge, and president and general manager of the Denver Cutthroats minor league hockey team.
- Todd Stockbauer is the managing member of Stockbauer and Associates, which provides financial, operational and administrative guidance and expertise to startup, early stage and less mature brands. He operates as a chief financial officer, chief operating office, investor, mentor, advisor, strategist and partner to brands in the sports, alcohol beverage, and food industries.
- Susan Pieper has been a corporate dealmaker, executive, and C-level executive at four startups (two exits and one ongoing business). She is presently the Founder and CEO of DMOS Collective, which is reimagining tools for action sports and outdoor adventures. Before founding DMOS, Pieper worked in merchant banking, business strategy consulting, and executive recruiting with the world’s top hedge funds. She was also a senior executive with several organizations.
New this year, the public is invited to attend Pitchfest, which will be held at Pierpont Place located at 163 Pierpont Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah on August 2. Buyers, investors and industry leaders are invited to attend the free event. Event registration will open on Monday, June 13.
Pitchfest was launched in 2015 as the cornerstone of OIWC’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program and is funded in part by The REI Foundation’s Mary Anderson Legacy Grant. In its inaugural year, 11 companies were chosen to live pitch their business.