Pitchfest: Women Entrepreneurs Make the Active-Outdoor Industries Better

Pitchfest: Women Entrepreneurs Make the Active-Outdoor Industries Better

Women entrepreneurs make the active-outdoor industries better. We see it in the workplace, we see it in the research, and we see it every year at Pitchfest—the Camber Outdoors event that accelerates the growth of innovative businesses and the women who lead them. As Pitchfest 2018 approaches, we’re looking for the next group of women entrepreneurs whose ideas will help drive the future of these industries. Below are just a few examples of women from Pitchfest past who have already made an impact.


Machines For Freedom

1. Machines For Freedom

The Big Idea: With the right design, women’s cycling apparel can meet every need of the female cyclist—without compromising performance or aesthetics.
Founder: Jennifer Hannon
Headquarters: Santa Monica, CA

“We set out to create a brand that had some soul. … We hope we can do for cycling what LuLu Lemon has done for yoga.”


Dirty Gourmet

2. Dirty Gourmet

The Big Idea: Food can, and should be, a memorable part of the outdoor experience–and that means moving beyond freeze-dried and mushy.
Founders: Emily Nielson, Aimee Trudeau, Mai-Yan Kwan
Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA

“We don’t just cook food in the backcountry, we cook great food in the backcountry… If people love their experience in the outdoors, they’ll want to protect the outdoors.” 



3. Solavore

The Big Idea: You can eat better outdoors (with more efficiency and fewer fossil fuels) by using the sun’s heat to slow-cook meals while you adventure.
Founder: Anne Patterson
Headquarters: St. Paul, MN

“Solavore means one who eats of the sun. … Solar cooking is great for tight spaces and a life on the go. We want people to move from freeze-dried to from scratch.”



4. Thousand Helmets

The Big Idea: Lives can be saved when you design a bike helmet that people actually want to wear.
Founder: Gloria Hwang
Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA

“We want to save lives by rebranding the bike helmet. … We’re shifting the narrative from safety to style.” 


Mountain Careers

5. Mountain Careers

The Big Idea: A job board specific to mountain towns will help foster a high-talent, high-retention community of professionals who can also live the outdoor lifestyle that makes them happy.
Founder: Aryn Schlichting
Headquarters: Vail, CO

“Professionals are looking for balance—they no longer want to choose between career and lifestyle. Now they can have both.”


Upcyle It Now

6. Upcycle It Now

The Big Idea: By creating a second life for used materials through the skills of local workers, we can close the loop on textile waste and promote environmental and social wellness.
Founders: Christina Johnson and Liz Bordessa
Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA

“The landfill is our #1 competitor. It’s the cheapest, easiest solution on the market. … We want to change business as usual and close the loop on textile waste.”



7. Elevate CoSpace

The Big Idea: Coworking spaces support entrepreneurs, community, and opportunity. Put one in the mountains and you have a gathering of innovative people working together, playing together, and making breakthroughs.
Founder: Amy Kemp
Headquarters: Frisco, CO

“We’re a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs in mountain towns … to incubate and accelerate new businesses and create experiences.”



Do you know someone with big ideas? We’re looking for women entrepreneurs, founders, or co-founders to pitch at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in July 2018. Apply By March 30th.

Formerly the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC)


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