Camber Outdoors Opens 2019 Pitchfest Applications and Expands Program to Womxn and Minority Businesses
Applications open from January 23, 2019 to March 1, 2019
BOULDER, Colo. (January 23, 2019) – Camber Outdoors announces the call for applications for Pitchfest 2019 and its expansion to include both womxn and minority-owned entrepreneurs. Now in its fifth year, Camber Outdoors’ Pitchfest combines a 10-week intensive mentoring program for 6-8 finalists with a live “pitch” event to some of the active-outdoors industries’ most influential CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders on June 17, 2019 in Denver, CO, prior to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. MST.
“As we evolved our mission at Camber Outdoors, the Pitchfest focus has also expanded giving womxn and minority entrepreneurs a platform to dig into accelerated business growth opportunities,” said Deanne Buck, Executive Director of Camber Outdoors. “Pitchfest was a first of its kind program five years ago, setting the active-outdoor industries apart because it challenged the status quo of the traditional accelerator and incubator model. We are proud to, once again, be at the forefront of innovation ourselves.”
Finalists are chosen based on traction, the strength of their business model, the ability to differentiate, commitment to scale and their understanding of growth hurdles. Each finalist is paired with a mentor who will advise them on articulating the opportunities most critical to their business’ growth. They will then live pitch their business to the judging panel to gain insight, visibility and valuable feedback.
“The Dyrt website was only 60 days old when I participated in Pitchfest. The experience was beneficial to the future of the company in so many ways. Since most startups don’t survive their first few years, opportunities like Pitchfest can be a major game changer,” said 2016 Pitchfest Finalist and founder of The Dyrt, Sarah Smith. “One of the biggest benefits of participating with Camber Outdoors has been the relationships formed with other women entrepreneurs. I still meet up with several of the women I met at Pitchfest to share ideas and feedback. It’s inspiring to see the ideas that other women are coming up with,” Smith said. “Getting to meet and build relationships with these women is incredible. We all learn from and support each other. And I think that is exactly what we need to be doing.”
Womxn-led and minority-led businesses that believe in Camber Outdoors’ guiding principles, are committed to business growth, and are focused on the active-outdoor industries are encouraged to apply. Finalists will be selected based on the following:
- Company Traction: Able to demonstrate revenue and market traction and are focused on high growth/scaling
- Ownership/Leadership: Business must be founded or co-founded by AND at least ⅓ womxn and/or minority-led
- Industry Focus: Business focus must directly relate to or contribute to the active-outdoor industries
- Availability: Applicants must practice and pitch their business in person on June 16- 17 in Denver, Colo.
“It was great to have [our Pitchfest mentor] come in from the outside with a fresh perspective when building our pitch. It was good to have someone ask the obvious questions,” said 2018 Pitchfest Finalist and founder of Western Rise, Kelly Watters. “I got to know more women in the outdoor industry, the publicity opportunity for the brand was huge, and I got to know the judges.”
Funded in part by The REI Foundation’s Mary Anderson Legacy Grant and Perkins Coie, Pitchfest was launched in 2015 as the cornerstone of Camber Outdoors’ programming to support and accelerate womxn’s leadership and participation in the outdoors. Since then, 33 womxn have live pitched their business plans to a distinguished panel of active-outdoor industries executives and a room full of investors, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders. The mentoring and feedback they’ve received have helped Pitchfest participants increase their business sustainability and growth.
More information for Pitchfest 2019 can be found here.
Watch the 2018 Pitchfest Finalist Presentations.
About Camber Outdoors
Founded in 1996, Camber Outdoors is the hub for advancing career opportunities, leadership and entrepreneurship to inspire an outdoors, truly for everyone. Envisioning a future of “Everyone’s Outdoors”, it is a national organization dedicated to achieving equity for all womxn and underrepresented communities in the workplace of the active-outdoors industries, through innovative and thought-leading programming and initiatives, including industry keynotes, the CEO Outdoor Equity Pledge, Pitchfest, Camber Exchanges, and a cross-industry/company Mentoring Program. Over 200 corporate and 7,500 individual members support equity through Camber Outdoors.
To learn more about Camber Outdoors please visit camberoutdoors.org and follow them on social media.