Applications Now Open for BOW Venture Out Festival

Bend, OR (August 9, 2017)—Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW), Central Oregon’s outdoor industry accelerator, is now taking applications for 2017 Venture Out Festival, to be held October 18th at the Tower Theatre in downtown Bend, Oregon.

 

The BOW Venture Out Festival is the first funding event solely for the outdoor industry. Early stage and growth stage outdoor company pitch finalists will secure an opportunity to present to the audience at the 450 seat Tower Theatre. Winners receive cash prize grants and/or equity money.

 

At last years Venture Out Festival, $113,000 was awarded to three different outdoor companies. Awards included the $10k BreakOut award for early stage companies, the $100k Ready to Roll investment award for growth stage companies, and a surprise $3,000 Judges Award for either stage. Prize categories and amounts for the 2017 BOW Venture Out Festival will be announced shortly.

 

Outdoor companies seeking funding and visibility are encouraged to apply at http://bendoutdoorworx.com/apply/ Applications close August 31, 2017.

 

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Tougher, SnoPlanks, and CushCore Win at Venture Out Festival

Bend, OR (October 17, 2016)—Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW) and the Oregon Outdoor Alliance (OOA) announced the winners of the Venture Out Festival, the first venture event focused solely on the outdoor industry, held last Wednesday at the Tower Theatre in Bend, Oregon. TOUGHER, women’s durable and functional work wear, won the $10,000 BreakOut Award presented by Bend Radio Group and HydroFlask; while SnoPlanks, handcrafted bamboo snowboards and skis, won the $100k Ready to Roll Investment Award presented by Trigen Investments. Additionally, CushCore, innovators of an inner tire suspension system, picked up the Judges Award presented by BendBroadBand.

 

Close to 400 outdoor enthusiasts attended the inaugural event to be a part of the growing outdoor company movement in Bend, Oregon. The Venture Out Festival commenced with a slack line exhibition, hosted by Slacktech of Bend, outside the Tower Theatre. The demo featured professional trick liner, Mickey Wilson. During the event, founders from Bend companies including Cairn and Robert Axle Project emceed the award categories. Keynote speaker, former professional snowboarder and brain trauma survivor, Kevin Pearce, shared his inspirational story and HBO Documentary “The Crash Reel.”

 

Three early stage outdoor companies, including finalists Wedgis, emergency swimwear that fits in a tiny pouch, TOUGHER and CushCore, presented for the BreakOut Award and fielded questions from the audience. TOUGHER, women’s durable and functional work wear, was voted winner of the $10,000 BreakOut Award presented by Bend Radio Group and HydroFlask. Also, three growth stage finalists presented for the Investment award including Rip Clear, lens protectors for optics; SnoPlanks, handcrafted bamboo snowboards and skis; and Zealios, performance personal care products for endurance athletes. Snoplanks was chosen to receive the $100k Ready to Roll investment award presented by Trigen Investments.

 

Additionally, in a surprise announcement, a Judges Award presented by Bendbroadband was given to CushCore, innovators of an inner tire suspension system.

 

Venture Out Festival was sponsored by Trigen Investments, Bend Radio Group, HydroFlask, DrinkTanks, Northline Wealth Management, Bendbroadband, White Summers, US Bank, Hand in Hand Productions, Cairn and Black Strap.

 

 

Kevin Pearce to Inspire at Venture Out Festival

FINALISTS FOR STAGE AND FULL SPONSOR ROSTER ANNOUNCED

Bend, OR (October 3, 2016)—Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW), Central Oregon’s outdoor industry accelerator, is pleased to announce that former professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce has been selected as the keynote speaker for the Venture Out Festival, October 12th at the Tower Theatre, Bend, Oregon. Additionally, BOW revealed the final outdoor companies that will be on stage presenting at Venture Out, and the full roster of local companies sponsoring the event. 

 

Produced by BOW and the Oregon Outdoor Alliance (OOA), the Venture Out Festival is the first venture event solely focused on the outdoor industry, as part of the evening’s entertainment, Kevin Pearce will be the keynote speaker. Pearce, a former top professional snowboarder and an Olympic gold contender, suffered a life altering head injury training for the Vancouver Olympics. He triumphed through adversity and had an astonishing recovery. Pearce went on to establish the Love Your Brain Foundation and is now inspirational speaker nationwide.  Segments from his HBO Documentary “The Crash Reel” will also be shown.

 

For the two awards being determined at Venture Out, six companies have been chosen to present on stage.  Cushcore, innovators of an inner tire suspension system; Tougher, women’s durable and functional work wear; and Wedgis, swimwear that fits in a tiny pouch, will pitch for the $10,000 Breakout Award presented by Bend Radio Group and HydroFlask.  Rip Clear, lens protectors for optics; SnoPlanks, handcrafted bamboo snowboards and skis; and Zealios, performance personal care products for endurance athletes, will pitch for the $100k Ready to Roll investment award presented by Trigen Investments

 

Additionally, Venture Out has also seen tremendous support from the local community and BOW is proud to announce the full line up of sponsors for this first time event which are - Trigen Investments, Bend Radio Group, HydroFlask, DrinkTanks, Northline Wealth Management, Bendbroadband, White Summers, US Bank, Hand in Hand Productions, Cairn and Black Strap.  

 

Tickets are $10.00 and are on sale at the door and on eventbrite.com.  For more information visit bendoutdoorworx.com/venture-out/ 

Bend Outdoor Worx Venture Out Semi Finalist

Bend, OR (September 19, 2016)—Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW), Central Oregon’s outdoor industry accelerator, announced the semi finalists for the new Venture Out Festival being held at the Tower Theatre, Bend, Oregon the evening of October 12th, 2016.  Produced by BOW and the Oregon Outdoor Alliance (OOA), the Venture Out Festival is the first venture event solely focused on the outdoor industry. The event will feature two awards - the $10,000 Breakout Award presented by Bend Radio Group and HydroFlask and the $100k Ready to Roll investment award presented by Trigen Investments.

 

The selection process began with an impressive submission of applications from over 30 outdoor companies.  Seven early stage companies and seven growth stage companies were chosen for the first pitch day where they presented to a panel made up of the BOW mentors and extended mentors (including Scott Allan of HydroFlask and Rob Little of Cairn), as well as Brian Vierra of Economic Development of Central Oregon (EDCO) and Bryan Azur of Trigen Investments.

 

After thoughtful consideration and deliberation, the group determined the semi finalists in each category. Due diligence and a final review process will decide the final three in each category that will go on to the stage at the Venture Out Festival.

 

The early stage semi finalists for the Breakout Award include:

 

Bosky Optics (Portland Oregon), an unconventional performance eyewear company using natural & sustainable materials - Boskyoptics.com

CushCore (Bend, Oregon), developers of the world’s first “Inner-Tire Suspension System – cushcore.com

Pierce Footwear (Bend, Oregon), performance footwear that solves lacing issues with folks of special needs, limited mobility and athletes of all ages - piercefootwear.com

Tougher (Corvallis, Oregon) durable and functional work wear designed specifically for women – weartougher.com

Wedgis (Bend, Oregon) innovative swimwear that wedges into a tiny, waterproof, and lightweight pouch designed to take anywhere - wedgis.com

And the growth stage semi finalists for the Ready to Roll Investment Award include:

Fat Chance Bicycles (Ashland, Oregon), an iconic high-end mountain bike brand of the 80’s & 90’s re-launched in 2015 - fatchance.bike

iOmounts (Basalt, Colorado),  simplest and most versatile universal mounting system for mobile devices including mounts for outdoor products such as the Nomad for mountain bikes - iOmounts.com

 RipClear (Bend, Oregon), lens protectors for optics that adhere directly to the lens with military rated clarity with patented technology – ripclear.com

 SnoPlanks (Bend, Oregon) handcrafted bamboo snowboards and skis - Snoplanks.com

 Zealios (Bend, Oregon), performance personal care products for endurance athletes – teamzealois.com

 

The Venture Out Festival is sponsored b­­­­­y Trigen Investments, Bend Radio Group, HydroFlask, DrinkTanks, US Bank, and Hand in Hand Productions.  Tickets will be available at the door and online. For more information www.bendoutdoorworx.com 

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Bend Outdoor Worx Announces Next Cohort

Bend, OR (August 10, 2016)—Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW), Central Oregon’s outdoor industry accelerator, is pleased to announce the selected companies that will make up the next cohort beginning this September - Bosky Optics, Fat Chance Bicycles, and Zealios.

 

This next cohort will be the 4th group of companies to receive mentorship from BOW’s industry founders since its inception. Using a process of discovery meetings, analyzation and curriculum building, BOW determines the company needs and provide guidance from the founders and extended mentor group. The Accelerator supports these companies by aligning them with additional resources needed to succeed, including legal assistance, financial planning, marketing, logistics, sales, marketing, and product development.

 

Cohort # 4 includes:

 

Bosky Optics (Portland Oregon), an unconventional (performance) eyewear company using natural & sustainable materials. Founder Matthew Minor, a graduate of the OSU Accelerator program, began Bosky in 2015. Bosky’s initial successes include being featured in Vogue & Esquire, attracting strong athlete endorsements and significant early sales performance.  For more information visit Boskyoptics.com

 

Fat Chance Bicycles (Ashland, Oregon), an iconic high-end mountain bike brand of the 80’s & 90’s founded by Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee, Chris Chance. Fat Chance built a legendary reputation and cult following through innovative high quality product fused with a sense of fun and personality. The brand was re-launched in 2015 with a highly successful Kickstarter campaign and ecommerce site. Early revenue was over six-figures for the re-launch. For more information visit fatchance.bike

 

Zealios (Bend, Oregon), performance personal care products for endurance athletes, founded by University of Washington classmates, Austin Britts and Kevin Fuller, both armed with a BA in Economics with a focus on International trade and a decade in wholesale chemical trade decided to make the best sunscreen on the planet. Zealios introduced their flagship product, Sun Barrier SPF 45, in 2012.  Following soaring ecommerce sales and great success on Amazon, they are now developing wholesale distribution starting with Sports Basement and Mike's Bikes in the Bay Area and experienced growth last season of over 250%, while attracting athlete endorsements such as Jesse Thomas and Heather Jackson (both of Bend). For more information visit Teamzealios.com

 

BOW co-founder Eric Meade says, “This new team of emerging businesses is exactly what BOW is designed to do - help companies in the outdoor sector scale and reach their goals faster and better through mentoring and guidance.  I couldn’t be more proud of BOW and the high caliber clients were seeing come into our cohorts.”

 

For more information about Bend Outdoor Worx visit www.bendoutdoorworx.com

 

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Bend Outdoor Worx Annouces the Venture Out Festival Over $100K to be Awarded

Bend, OR (May 26, 2016)—Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW), Central Oregon’s outdoor industry accelerator, is pleased to announce the Venture Out Festival, an outdoor product venture event to be held on October 12th at the Tower Theater. Applications for this event will available on the BOW website in mid June.

 

Supported by the Oregon Outdoor Alliance and the Economic Development of Central Oregon (EDCO), the Wednesday evening event kicks off the Bend Venture Conference, held October 13th - 15th.  Two Bros. Ventures, a family owned and operated firm with offices in Bend, will be funding a venture round of at least $100,000 to be awarded to a growth stage outdoor product company, while Bend Radio Group will be sponsoring a $10,000 Breakout Award for an early stage company.

 

This year’s event builds on the success of BOW’s 2016 Breakout Award, where three finalist companies were selected to pitch to a crowd of over 250 people at an OOA meeting. The audience chose Robert Axle Project, a local manufacturer of axle adaptors for bike trailers and trainers, as the winner. Keynote speaker Beaver Theodosakis, the founder of Prana, presented the winner with the check for $10,000.

 

Kicking off in mid June, the application process for the new Bend Outdoor Worx Venture Out Festival includes a website application as well as a series of presentations. The finalists will be chosen in Fall 2016.

 

Currently, BOW is accepting applications for their next cohort until June 1st. Since 2014, BOW has worked with eight start-up outdoor companies providing them with mentorship from industry founders and an extended mentor group.  Through a process of discovery meetings, analyzation and curriculum building, BOW determines company needs and provides guidance. The accelerator supports these companies by aligning them with additional resources needed to succeed, including legal, financial, marketing, logistics, sales, marketing, and product development. Start up outdoor companies looking to scale can apply online at http://bendoutdoorworx.com/apply/

 

 

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Bend Outdoor Worx Mentored Companies Demonstrate Success

Bend, OR (May 13, 2016)—Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW), Central Oregon’s outdoor industry accelerator, is pleased to report on the successes of the companies that have participated in sessions with BOW and continue to receive mentorship.

 

Since 2014, BOW has worked with eight start-up outdoor companies providing them with mentorship from their industry founders and an extended mentor group.  Through a process of discovery meetings, analyzation and curriculum building, BOW determined the company needs and provided guidance. The accelerator supported these companies by aligning them with additional resources needed to succeed, including legal, financial, marketing, logistics, sales, and product development.

 

BOW’s alumni have experienced many successes and milestones, those of particular note include:

Cohort #1(Fall 2014 to present) :

Homeschool Technical Apparel (a technical outdoor apparel company) obtained a $ 500K Bridge loan and received a $ 1MM Accounts Receivable credit line, while continuing rapid growth and adding new employees. Additionally, Homeschool was a “Launch Stage” Finalist at the 2014 Bend Venture Conference.

 

Cairn (monthly subscription box service for outdoor enthusiasts) - raised $ 1.7MM in equity, while experiencing huge growth going from 150 to over 10,000 monthly subscribers, adding 10 employees, and moving into a office/warehouse space. Cairn was also a “Concept Stage” Finalist at the 2014 Bend Venture Conference and won the 2015 Oregon Entrepreneur “Development Stage Category” Award.

 

Free Range Backpacks (technical, lightweight backpacks for backcountry/multi-sport athletes) - launched an e-commerce site, moved into sewing space, hired first employees, and were a “Concept Stage” Finalist at 2014 Bend Venture Conference.

 

Cohort #2 (Summer 2015 to present):

Slackline Technology (manufacturer of longline and highline rigging) - revamped production increasing efficiencies and margins, raised $ 25K in equity, and launched an educational component to their website.

 

The Robert Axle Project (an axle adapter for bike trailers and trainers) – founders gained confidence through strategic planning to commit full time to the business, expanded into european distribution, experienced continued rapid growth, and won the Bend Outdoor Worx $ 10k Break Out Award through an public pitch event.


Cohort #3 (Fall 2015 to present):

SnoPlanks (manufacturer of bamboo snowboards and skis) - exhibited at their first tradeshow, expanded product line, garnered positive media attention both statewide and in the snow sports industry, and won the $ 15K Early Stage Award at the 2015 Bend Venture Conference.

 

Magic Cycle Werks (handcrafted custom steel bicycles) - exhibited at their first trade show with a targeted media campaign, and has secured new retailers.

 

Waggletops (custom removable dog bed covers) - streamlined product line, outsourced key production, and launched on Amazon.com.

 

“Participating in BOW helped us lay our business foundation and understand what it would take to scale the business,” said Rob Little, Cairn’s Co-Founder and CEO. “The BOW mentors provided industry expertise, practical business knowhow, as well as critical contacts that all accelerated our growth and helped us build a valuable company.  I'd recommend their program for any early outdoor product company”.

 

BOW is accepting applications for the next cohort. Start up outdoor companies looking to scale can apply online at http://bendoutdoorworx.com/apply/  Applications will be accepted through May 31, 2016.

 

 

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Bend Outdoor Worxs Opens Applications for New Session

Bend, OR (April 4, 2016)—Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW), Central Oregon’s outdoor industry accelerator, announced today that they have opened applications for participants for their summer cohort.  BOW will choose three start up outdoor companies to take part in their fourth cohort, which will run July – November, 2016.

 

The Summer cohort will receive mentorship from BOW’s industry founders in areas where developing companies may be lacking. Through a process of discovery meetings, analyzation and curriculum building, BOW will determine the company needs and provide guidance from the founders and extended mentor group. The Accelerator will then support these companies by aligning them with additional resources needed to succeed, including legal assistance, financial planning, marketing, logistics, sales, marketing, and product development.

 

BOW’s alumni include Homeschool Technical Apparel, a technical outdoor apparel company, Cairn, a monthly subscription box service for outdoor enthusiasts, Free Range Backpacks, technical, light-weight backpacks for backcountry/multi-sport athletes, Slackline Technology, a manufacturer of longline and highline rigging, the Robert Axle Project, an axle adapter for bike trailers and trainers, SnoPlanks, a manufacturer of bamboo snowboards and skis, Magic Cycle Werks, handcrafted custom steel bicycles, and Waggletops, custom removable dog bed covers. These companies continue to be a part of the BOW family.

 

Start up outdoor companies looking to scale can apply online at http://bendoutdoorworx.com/apply/  Applications will be accepted through May 31, 2016.

 

 

Cairn Closes $1.7 Million in Funding From Strategic Investors Fueling Expansion of the Fastest Growing Community of Outdoor Enthusiasts

Bend, Oregon (February 15th, 2016) – Cairn, a community where outdoor enthusiasts discover new products and ideas, closes $1.7 million in funding to expand its offerings, team, and community. Investors who bring their expertise to the company include Brian Spaly, Founder of Bonobos and Founder & CEO of Trunk Club; Rick Dalzell, Former Amazon SVP & CIO, and Board Member at Intuit; and Jim Collis, Private Equity Partner at Seaport Capital and Board Member at Hydro Flask.  For more information visit www.getcairn.com.

“Cairn is a cutting edge brand that is more than a subscription box service,” said Brian Spaly. “Cairn is changing the outdoor industry and creating a unique community built around innovation, inspiration, quality, data and a love for the outdoors.”

With this new capital, Cairn will focus on continuing to grow its team and expanding its offerings to the outdoor community and industry brands.  Along with this financing, Co-Founder Jared Peterson left a ten-year career at Apple to join Cairn full time as Chief Technology and Operations Officer.   Peterson’s many responsibilities include building a technology and infrastructure platform to support significant expansion and a seamless user experience.

Cairn works with a wide range of high quality emerging and established companies to provide value to both the Cairn community and the companies in the outdoor industry.   Added Andre Walker of prAna, “By partnering with Cairn, we reach new consumers, increase brand awareness and collect unique data and feedback. We plan to be a longtime partner of Cairn.”

“I have spent my career working with companies that utilize technology and data to transform industries and deliver a great service to customers” said Rick Dalzell.  “As an avid outdoor enthusiast, I see a significant opportunity for Cairn and am excited to be an investor and advisor to the company.” 

About Cairn
Cairn is changing the way outdoor enthusiasts discover new products and ideas that inspire them to connect and explore.  Cairn was built by a group of entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity to bring positive disruption and give back in their area of passion – the outdoors.  Since the company founding as a monthly subscription box service, Cairn has evolved to be a market leader and fast growing community of thousands who love the outdoors.   In 2015, Cairn was chosen among all development stage companies in Oregon as the winner of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network Entrepreneurship Award.  Cairn is headquartered in Bend, Oregon – a fast growing town that offers an outdoor mecca, high quality of life and thriving entrepreneurial community.  For more information, go to www.getcairn.com. Socialize with us to inspire more adventures! @getcairn #cairnrocks.

 

The Robert Axle Project Becomes First BOW Breakout $10,000 Award Winner

Bend, OR (October 16, 2015)—Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW), Central Oregon’s outdoor industry accelerator, granted the first BOW Breakout Award presented by Trigen Investments and sponsored by HydroFlask, The Bridge, White Summers Law, Price Fronk & Co, the Harrelson Group, Bank of the Cascades and Credo Investments, in the amount of $10,000.00 to the Robert Axle Project, at the Oregon Outdoor Alliance meeting, held on October 14th, 2015. 

The BOW Breakout Award was created as part of BOW’s mission to help start-up outdoor companies succeed and thrive in Bend, and as a way to further showcase the outdoor industry cluster in Central Oregon leading up to the Bend Venture Conference. The BOW Breakout Award was available to companies based in Central Oregon, who were post revenue and producing or curating an outdoor consumer product.

 The Robert Axle Project, thru-axle adapter solution for bike trailers, along with SnoPlanks, handcrafted bamboo snowboards and skis and Zealios Skin Care, performance personal care products for endurance athletes, were the three semifinalists selected to share their company story and vision to the record breaking crowd of 240 + at the Oregon Outdoor Alliance (OOA) gathering last Wednesday night.  When the votes were tallied it was the Robert Axle Project narrowly edging out SnoPlanks and taking home the BOW Breakout $10,000.00 Award presented by Trigen Investments.

Following the BOW Breakout Award presentations, Beaver Theodosakis, founder of Prana and a branding expert with an exceptional track record of building successful companies in the outdoor lifestyle spaces including Life’s a Beach, Bad Boy Club, and Spy Optics, inspired the audience by sharing his vast experience and his keys to building a sustainable brand.

“It was an exceptional night for the outdoor community in Bend,” said Gary Bracelin, co-founder of Bend Outdoor Worx “We appreciate the sponsors that came together to help make this award possible and Beaver Theodosakis for both presenting the award and for being the evening’s keynote speaker.”

Additionally, SnoPlanks, who is part of the current Bend Outdoor Worx cohort, will take the experience and momentum from the OOA event to the Bend Venture Conference being held on Friday, October 16th as one of the early stage finalists chosen to present.

For more information about BOW visit bendoutdoorworx.com, or follow @bendoutdoorworx.com on Instagram or Twitter.


For information on The Robert Axle Project visit robertaxleproject.com.