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Attention Outdoor Startups: Apply to Win Moosejaw’s ‘Accelerator’ Competition

Moosejaw Accelerator competition pitch
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Got a big idea but need a little oomph to bring it to life? If you’re an entrepreneur or inventor, this may be the casting call you’ve been waiting for.

For the second year running, outdoor apparel and gear retailer Moosejaw announces its Outdoor Industry Accelerator, in partnership with Western Colorado University’s ICELab. Similar to other pitch competitions inspired by Shark Tank (including GearJunkie’s own The Pitch), Moosejaw’s Accelerator seeks to award four outdoor startups with a “comprehensive program to turbocharge their growth.”

And while the monthlong competition — from Dec. 14, 2020, to Jan. 14, 2021 — marks the second-annual Accelerator, Moosejaw said this year it will place a greater focus on underrepresented groups within the outdoor industry. As part of that commitment, Moosejaw partnered with Camber Outdoors, a nonprofit that works to improve diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) within the industry.

“We’re very excited to be back at Western and in the Gunnison Valley,” said Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford. “Our first partnership with ICELab in 2019 was very successful, launching three outdoor companies that are in business 2 years later. We plan to make this second acceleration program even bigger and better.”

Thinking this could be your big break? Here’s what you need to know on how to apply and what you could win.

Moosejaw Outdoor Accelerator Competition

The competition is open to early-stage startups that have a product or service that “addresses a compelling need in the outdoor industry,” according to Moosejaw.

As noted, particular interest will be given to applicants whose businesses or products help improve inclusivity and diversity in the industry. As such, the competition stipulates that at least two of the four winners will “have founders from underrepresented groups.” Moosejaw notes that while candidates’ products or services should be well-defined, they can be pre-revenue.

Applications close after Jan. 14, 2021. After that, judges will whittle down the entries to 10 finalists. Then, from Jan. 20 to Feb. 26, voting will open to Moosejaw’s customers. The four winning companies will be announced on March 4 before they enroll in the 8-week Accelerator prize.

ICELab Outdoor Accelerator Program

For four lucky upstart brands, the Accelerator prize includes the following:

  • An 8-week intensive business mentoring program, including 5 weeks on location at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado, and a week in Boulder, Colorado. This includes sessions with Moosejaw experts on strategy, marketing, e-commerce, and retail. Lodging is included for 6 weeks onsite.
  • Connections with potential investors and a large outdoor recreation network.
  • Product launch on Moosejaw.com and in Moosejaw stores with a complete marketing and social media package.
  • Free membership in Camber Outdoors, with access to resources that help build inclusivity into their business from the ground up.
  • Free legal consultation from the law firm of Holland & Hart LLP on everything from company formation and investment agreements to intellectual property.

Ready to apply? Head over to the Outdoor Industry Accelerator page now. Moosejaw will accept applications from Dec. 14, 2020, to Jan. 14, 2021. And stay tuned to GearJunkie for updates on voting, finalists, and winners.

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