Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition Announces 11 Women-Led Entrepreneur Finalists for Pitchfest Event
Boulder, Colo.,—July 23, 2015—The Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) the only national organization dedicated to workplace diversity and inclusion by expanding opportunities for women and companies in the outdoor, snow, run, and bike industries, announced the inaugural group of 11 stellar female-led companies today for the Pitchfest event on August 4th. Each company has at least one exceptional female founder and a unique product offering. Early stage companies were selected through an open application process that began in April.
During Pitchfest each finalist will have five minutes to pitch their unique concepts to Pitchfest judges, that consist of top outdoor industry CEOs and business leaders, followed by a question and answer session. The event will take place in Park City, Utah at the Backcountry headquarters on the eve of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
11at11 Digital will be a newsocial calendar app specifically for women. This platform will provide a centralized place for friends to coordinate plans, as well as social connections to help users find adventure partners with compatible interests and goals. Located in Seattle, Washington Presenting Founder: LuLu Gephart. 11at11.co
Beafor Apparel designs athletic apparel for observant Muslim, Jewish, and Indian women, which allows them to engage in an athletic and digital lifestyle while keeping true to traditional dressing. Located in Los Angeles, California. Presenting Founder: Ann Scott. www.beafor.com
BikeLife Cities helps cities promote biking, with a glossy, attractive magazine designed to inspire people to ride. Located in Boulder, Colorado. Presenting Founder: Lynn Guissinger.www.Bikelifecities.com
Blokrok is a reusable lotion application system that allows you to simultaneously pump and apply lotion while keeping hands clean. Located in Charleston, South Carolina. Presenting Founder: Arianna Megaro. www.theblokrok.com
BOCO Gear designs and develops stylish and functional custom performance headwear for manufacturers, retailers, events, teams and clubs within the endurance sports community. Located in Boulder, Colorado. Presenting Founder: Kay Martin. www.Bocogear.com
Bronwen Jewelry makes handcrafted jewelry for active woman. The jewelry features simple designs with beautiful and clean bohemian aesthetics using the highest quality materials that are durable and water-friendly. Located in Bend, Oregon. Presenting Founder Bronwen Lodato. www.bronwenonline.com
MaskIT brings peace of mind to the adventurous woman who happens to be on her period. MaskIT are individual pouches containing biofilm that prevents odor molecules from passing through the film. Pouches permanently seal up making it very easy for women to pack out while camping. Located in Ashland, Oregon. Presenting Founder: Shallan Ramsey. www.MaskIT.us
Pakems are the lightweight packable shoe perfect for taking anywhere, so the moment you’re ready to relax, you have a comfortable shoe. Located in Denver, Colorado. Presenting Founder: Julie Adams. www.pakems.com
Pallas Snowboards (formerly known as Palace Snowboards) hand builds women's snowboards and split boards using materials and designs that benefit female riders. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Presenting Founder: Stephanie Nitsch. www.pallassnowboards.com
Trail Mavens is a service-based company that brings together intimate groups of dynamic women for weekend-long, skill-based camping and backpacking adventures that are designed to eliminate the primary barriers keeping women from spending more time on the trails. Located in San Francisco, California. Presenting Founder: Sasha Cox. www.trailmavens.com
Destination Nature is creator of Destination Nature Club, a monthly subscription service that gets kids outside by sending them themed postcards each month with a checklist of things to do in nature. After kids complete the items, they go online where they can unlock more fun. Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Presenting Founder: Stacy Tornio. www.destinationnature.net
“We designed the Pitchfest to provide a dedicated channel for innovation and entrepreneurship among women with a passion and love for the outdoors. The Finalists represent an array of unique companies and leaders who truly represent the creative spirit of the active outdoor industry,” said Deanne Buck, executive director of the OIWC. “We are thrilled and honored to welcome this group to Pitchfest.”
Judging this year’s OIWC Pitchfest are industry leaders and entrepreneurs with deep connections within the industry, proven business success, expertise in new product development and product to market systems, and a commitment to supporting entrepreneurship. All finalists will benefit from the judges expertise and receive business-building services including exposure to media and potential investors, pitch training, and professional business consulting:
· Jill Layfield, CEO of Backcountry
· Koel Thomae, Co-founder/Chief Aussie Officer of Noosa Yoghurt
· Matt Compton, Technology Entrepreneur and Investor
· Dan Nordstrom, CEO of Outdoor Research
· Jerry Stritzke, President and CEO of REI
Pitchfest is the inaugural event of OIWC’s The Workshop, an entrepreneurial initiative funded in part by The REI Foundation’s Mary Anderson Legacy Grant.
To learn more about the Pitchfest and the OIWC visit www.OIWC.org/TheWorkshop, to learn more about these finalists visit www.OIWC.org/TheWorkshop/2015Finalists. Follow the OIWC on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Founded in 1996, the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition is the only national organization dedicated to workplace diversity and inclusion by expanding opportunities for women and companies in the outdoor, snow, run, and bike industries. To learn more about the OIWC CEO pledge, visit oiwc.org/pledge.