Waypoint Accelerator

An outdoor entrepreneurship and innovation accelerator program for early-stage, outdoor-focused, North Carolina-based companies.


$550 per company (up to 2 participants) 


12 Sessions (5 mos)


Applications for Cohort 5 are now closed. Get on the interest list to stay updated on what’s next.

The first outdoor accelerator on the east coast

Uniquely harnesses the outdoor industry and venture development expertise of mentors and partners to elevate your outdoor venture to the next peak. Cohort members are embedded in a strong network of mentors and peers that can help refine company plans and products, get critical feedback, and ultimately get to market faster.


The program components include action-focused peer cohort sessions, a robust outdoor industry mentor network, and assistance with access to growth capital. 


A Few Key Highlights:

  • Based in Asheville and Western North Carolina, a region with a greater density of outdoor recreation companies than anywhere else on the east coast

  • Embedded in a thriving and collaborative outdoor industry cluster of professionals and strategic partners, many serving as program mentors and advisors

  • 12-session cohort-based program conducted semi-virtually with tailored mentorship and advisor connections

  • Serving 10 North Carolina-based outdoor startups per cohort from gear makers to experience providers and from concept to early sales

  • Strong access-to-capital connections but you don’t have to give up any equity or take investment to participate – and there’s no cost for the first round

  • Includes membership in the Outdoor Business Alliance of WNC

Check out high-growth outdoor companies in the current cohort and some past cohorts below.

Cohort 5 – 2023:

Past Cohorts:

“Waypoint was one of the biggest step ups that our business has taken over the last three years. We are close to tripling our revenue since finishing Waypoint with lots of clear paths to continue our exponential growth” said Devin deHoll, Co-Founder/Owner of Asheville Adventure Company, Waypoint Accelerator Cohort 2. “The networking, the mentors, the content covered, the time spent to meditate and work on your business, is some of the most valuable time that we could have possibly taken in our early careers as entrepreneurs. Waypoint has elevated us beyond what I could have ever thought possible.”

Mentors and Advisers

Waypoint harnesses the exceptional and collaborative network of outdoor industry leaders based in WNC to provide tailored mentorship, advice, and connections. Here are just a few of the folks on the Waypoint bench ready to help you go to market smarter and help more people connect with the great outdoors.

Derek Allen

Allen Stahl + Kilbourne

Amy Allison

MADE X MTNS Partnership

Ryan Coffield

Van Winkle Law Firm

Donald Corey

Appalachian State University

Alan Davis

Blue Ridge Chair Works

Steven Foy

Nantahala Outdoor Center

Chris Grasinger

Mountain BizWorks

Elena Gupta

Small Business & Technology Development Center

Korey Hampton

French Broad Adventures

Tige Hopper

Insurance Service of Asheville

Bill Johnston

Recover Brands

Jeff Kaplan

Venture Asheville

Stephanie Kissel


Emi Kubota

KidCycle Club

Micah Pulleyn

G5 Trail Collective

Anna Rawlins


Steven Reinhold

The Appalachian Adventure Company

Angie Robinson

Darby Communications

Laurel Scherer

Status Forward

Nick Spero

Fifth Element Camping

Russ Towers

Second Gear

Stephanie Swepson Twitty

Eagle Market Street Development Corp.

Hayley R. Wells

Ward and Smith, P.A.

Nicole Will

Asheville Wellness Tours

IN partnership with


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