Voting Starts February 24th
Program boosts start up companies dedicated to increasing diversity in the outdoors
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (February 24,2023) – Moosejaw, a leading retailer specializing in outdoor gear and apparel, today announced the finalists of its fourth-annual Outdoor Accelerator Program (MOA). Aimed at boosting startup companies and increasing diversity within the outdoor industry, the company received over 40 submissions, narrowing it down to 10 finalists. Voting for the final companies runs from February 24th through March 6th. Winners will be announced on March 16th. Beginning March 6, winners will attend the Accelerator through both remote sessions and on site education at the ICELab in Gunnison, CO. To vote visit here.
MOA’s mission is to help founders from diverse backgrounds achieve their dreams of growing a successful outdoor company. This year’s finalists include founders from historically underrepresented groups within the industry. The program provides access to educational and network resources, strategic mentorships, legal advice, and potential investors.
“Being part of the success stories that come from each of these talented founders and companies is incredible,” said Eoin Comerford, CEO, Moosejaw. “As part of the winner selection process, we’re asking Moosejaw customers, non-customers, best friends, worst enemies, and all of our moms to vote for their favorite four finalists in the Moosejaw Outdoor Accelerator. Through this program and in partnership with ICELab at Western Colorado University, a team of experts in their fields will help bring entrepreneurial dreams to life while continually working to find new ways to drive inclusivity in our industry.”
Fernweh Food Co. – Oregon
Fernweh Food Co. makes great tasting, plant-based and gluten-free dehydrated meals – all in sustainable packaging. This woman-led team by founder Ashley Lance 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.
Symbiosis Gear – Colorado
Symbiosis Gear founder Sarah Berkeleya leads a woman-owned company that creates women-specific backpacking gear. Each piece is created specifically for women’s needs, as opposed to the “shrink it and pink it” approach common in mass-market women’s backpacking gear. Symbiosis Gear takes women’s body proportions into consideration when addressing common issues with sternum straps, padding, overall fit, pack-to-torso length match, and hip belts.
Near Zero – Arizona
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 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. Founded by Scott Jensen.
B&Me NYC – New Jersey
B&Me is adaptive, patented outerwear that tailors to a woman’s ever-changing body from pre-pregnancy to beyond. B&Me creates stylish outerwear pieces that are expandable to accommodate your baby bump while you’re carrying and snuggles your baby right inside the garment with you once they’re born, giving you hands-free flexibility around town or on the trail. The goal is to eventually partner with other outerwear companies to bring this patented utility to your other favorite brands.
WNDR Outdoors – Colorado & Vermont
Created by plus-size adventurers Arwen Turner & Kara Hardman 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.
Coastal Range Equipment – California
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 John Peretti 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.
Aspect Avy – Colorado
Aspect Avy combines technology and avalanche safety for backcountry skiers and snowboarders. Created by internationally certified mountain guides Jeff Banks & JB Leach, Aspect Avy puts avalanche prediction and forecasting on your mobile device and right in your pocket. With over 150 million people living, visiting, and recreating in avalanche terrain each year, avalanche safety is extremely important. Aspect Avy helps users avoid avalanches while traditional equipment helps users survive them.
CarToCamp – Pennsylvania
CarToCamp can help you turn the vehicle you already have into the ultimate car camping experience. CarToCamp is a custom sleeping platform for your vehicle that helps you make the most of the space you have through clever storage and thoughtful design. The platform is adjustable to be compatible with over 1,000 different vehicles. Think of it as a more affordable and flexible alternative to rooftop tents and converted vans.
Dirt Series – Canada & US
Dirt Series provides mountain bike instructional camps and clinics catering to women. Their network includes more than 150 coaches currently offering programming across North America. Dirt Series provides women with extras like demo equipment, professional programming, and a multitude of programming types to support riders at all levels. They also offer all-gender camps to support the entire mountain bike community. Dirt Series has already catered to over 20,000 participants.
PurTrek – Utah
PurTrek is a water filtration system built right into your trekking poles. PurTrek helps reduce the need to carry a separate filtration system and bottle while navigating terrain, helping you save weight. You can filter into a bottle or reservoir, or drink directly from PurTrek without having to bend down to the water source making it great for folks with difficulty crouching or kneeling. PurTrek filter delivers two liters per minute, making it great for a single hiker or a whole family.
Kelly Blake, Vice President, [email protected]