Growing Outdoors Partnership

Waypoint Accelerator

Waypoint Accelerator is an outdoor entrepreneurship and innovation accelerator program for early-stage, outdoor-focused companies who have recently embarked on their journey or are still at the trailhead waiting to take the first step.

Mountain BizWorks, Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina, and several strategic partners are excited to support the Waypoint Accelerator.

 

A Few Key Highlights:

  • Based in Asheville and Western North Carolina, a region featuring world-class outdoor recreation amenities – first outdoor accelerator in the Eastern U.S.
  • Embedded in a thriving and collaborative outdoor industry network, including many serving as program mentors and advisors
  • 15-session intensive program conducted virtually, plus tailored mentorship opening at the 2020 Outdoor Economy Conference and concluding at the 2021 Get in Gear Fest
  • Serving 8 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 Gear Builders of WNC

Interested in Applying? Get on the interest list to be notified when the next cohort is open! Curious about our past cohort members? Meet the Companies Accepted into the First Cohort

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.

 

Sarah Wood
The Good Talk

Laurel Scherer
Status Forward

Hayley R. Wells
Ward and Smith, P.A.

Sophia Paulos
Graham County Economic Development

Matt Huff
Sport Hansa

Alan Davis
Blue Ridge Chair Works

Amy Allison
NC Outdoor Recreation Industry Office

Alyson Neel
Blyss Running

Loran Evans
Rightline Gear

Lauren Rash
Diamond Brand Gear

Duane Adams
AB Tech Small Business Center

Evans Prater
Mount Inspiration

Bill Johnston
Recover Brands

Jennifer Pharr Davis
Blue Ridge Hiking Company

Natalie DeRatt
Carmen and Grace Communications

Angie Robinson
Darby Communications

Jamie Gilpen
Outfitter Bicycle Tours

Forrest Merithew
Conatus Counsel

Jake Farrar
Van Winkle Law Firm

Dave Petri
Cynosura Consulting

Wes Stone
Western Carolina University

Donald Corey
Appalachian State University

Sandra Dennison
SBTDC

Derek Allen
Allen Stahl + Kilbourne

Continue for full 2020 program details »

Overview

See what Mountain BizWorks can do for you.

No matter your business type or experience level, we have resources to help you find your path to creating a business from your dream—and get better as you grow.

High-touch business courses
Customized business coaching
Get funding
Start investing