Applications are now open for the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) second annual Pitchfest, which gives female entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their business to some of the most influential CEOs and influencers in the active outdoor industries. The event will be held on August 2 in Salt Lake City prior to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. The deadline to apply is April 30 at 11:59 p.m. MST. OIWC will announce finalists selected to participate in Pitchfest in May.
“Entrepreneurs know that the ability to articulate a sound business strategy is imperative to any business’ success,” said Deanne Buck, executive director of OIWC. “Through The REI Foundation’s Mary Anderson Legacy Grant, Pitchfest gives female entrepreneurs the visibility and platform to bring their fresh thinking, innovative ideas, and passion for the outdoors to market.”
Each finalist is paired with a mentor who will advise them on articulating the issues most critical to their business’ growth. They will then live pitch their business to the judging panel to gain insight, visibility, and valuable feedback.
All women-led businesses that believe in OIWC’s guiding principles, are committed to business growth, and are focused on the outdoor industries are encouraged to apply. Finalists will be selected based on the following:
- – Company traction: Able to demonstrate market traction (letter of intent, customers, awards, etc.) and/or revenue
- – Ownership: At least 50 percent female owned and applicant is co-founder or in other key leadership role
- – Leadership/Management: Must currently have a woman in the key leadership role (CEO, president, etc.)
- – Industry Focus: Business focus must directly relate to or affect the bike, run, snow, and/or outdoor industries
- – Availability: Applicants must be able to appear in person on August 2 in Salt Lake City to participate in Pitchfest
“Pitchfest not only provided valuable feedback on my business strategy and its scalability, but I received numerous opportunities that allowed me to take the company to the next level,” said Shallan Ramsey, chief executive officer of MaskIT. “From Pitchfest we were able to identify gaps and opportunities that we might have otherwise missed. Since then, our company has experienced tremendous growth and our product was even picked up by REI.”
Pitchfest was launched in 2015 as the cornerstone of OIWC’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Workshop. In its inaugural year, 11 companies were chosen to live pitch their idea to a distinguished panel of judges that included Matt Compton, technology entrepreneur and investor; Jill Layfield, former CEO of Backcountry.com; Dan Nordstrom, CEO of Outdoor Research; Jerry Stritzke, President and CEO of REI; and Koel Thomae, co-founder of Noosa.
For additional information about applying to or attending Pitchfest, visit www.oiwc.org/Pitchfest