Accelerate with our Cohort program

Join the country’s first outdoor accelerator and learn to be an industry leader. Our program consists of a 14-week program followed by four monthly sessions. Get mentorship, e-commerce coaching, branding, accounting & legal consulting, and more.

Applications now Closed
2024 Cohort
22
Graduated
companies
18
still in
business
82%
success rate
since 2014

WE'RE HERE TO LEAD OUTDOOR INDUSTRY ENTREPRENEURS.

To get started, there is a $5,000 upfront fee, which covers the initial costs and signifies your commitment to the program. Along with the upfront fee, you have two options for your participation:

Option 1: Revenue Share
We request a simple 1.5% of your gross revenue paid quarterly after graduation. The revenue share has a maximum cap of $250,000, ensuring that you can grow your business without overwhelming financial obligations.

Option 2: Straight Equity Deal
We also offer a straight equity deal through a warrant. In this case, we require a 7% ownership in your business. This option is designed to align our interests and support your growth as entrepreneurs.

Success Stories

What you get

300+ hours of mentorship from 7+ industry and business experts
Intensive 14-week program followed by four monthly sessions
Accounting & legal consulting
E-commerce coaching by Algofy Outdoors
Branding with Relativity
Access to outdoor-specific and consumer goods-interested investors
Specific introductions and referrals to niche experts in your field
Expert and industry-specific partner advisors that will come in for individual sessions
Ongoing support and mentorship following cohort program completion

Our alumni

Hear what BOW alumni have to say about our programs and events.

We would have never grown at the pace or to the level of profitability without the mentorship we gained from Bend Outdoor Worx. Growing from $40k in annual sales in 2014 to over $4M in global annual sales is proof we have a solid model. We are also profitable, own a light industrial building, and have 11 employees.

Katy Bryce | Co-Founder/Mktg & Finance
Cohort / 2015

Through BOW, I was able to expand my network while honing my business skills as an entrepreneur in the outdoor industry. The community, resources, and friendships have lasted well beyond the formal program, and I have been well supported with both strategic and tactical insights as my business has grown. The mentors all come with real-world practical experience in the outdoor industry, having pioneered some of the most prolific and respected brands. Without their knowledge, wisdom, and, most importantly, willingness to share, we undoubtedly would not be growing at the pace we currently are. It's no wonder we already have 10x our revenue in the first year following the program!

Brittany Coleman  | Founder / Owner
Cohort / 2022

I can't say enough good things about the BOW program and, most importantly, the mentors. I met so many amazing people while participating in the BOW Accelerator, many of which I still work with years later. This program brought so much clarity to our strategy, margins, sales channels, and financial plan. I would recommend BOW to anyone who is serious about becoming a well-known brand in the outdoor industry.

Heather Kelly | CEO - Founder
Cohort / 2019

The B.O.W. program has been a game-changer for my small business. As a solo entrepreneur, managing all the moving pieces was a challenge. This program helped me develop and structure every aspect of my business. Working with seven knowledgeable mentors on a weekly basis has been fantastic, keeping me engaged and on track. The in-person workshops are like fun BootCamps.  Now, my business has a solid infrastructure for intelligent growth. Thanks to B.O.W., I've gained the necessary support and guidance to thrive as an entrepreneur.

Franco Cefalo | Co-Founder/Owner
Cohort / 2023

Some of our mentors

In addition to the mentors showcased here, we bring in
industry experts and exceptional individuals
on a case-by-case basis to meet each cohort company’s needs.
Christie Dobson
SALES & MARKETING
Having learned from some of the industry’s best, she has acted as the VP of sales and marketing for Astral Footwear and is currently working with some premier women’s brands.
Meg Chun
BUSINESS
The co-founder of KIALOA Paddles and Bend Surf, Meg spends her time consulting, mentoring and serving as a board member of the Oregon Outdoor Alliance, Terra Frma and Bend Outdoor Worx.
Justin Rae
FINANCE AND INVESTMENT
Having learned from some of the industry’s best, she has acted as the VP of sales and marketing for Astral Footwear and is currently working with some premier women’s brands.
Gary Bracelin
BUSINESS
An Oregon-born entrepreneur with a passion for helping arising businesses who sits on the board of directors for the Oregon Outdoor Alliance, and consults for outdoor industry businesses.
Gain the resources and skills needed to solve your business challenges
brand building
Get branding support and advice from Relativity. Learn how to build your brand.
Accounting + legal
Get accounting and legal advice (pro bono during Cohort and  competitive rates thereafter).
Investor Support
Learn to navigate funding options from outdoor-specific and consumer goods-interested investors.
E-commerce
Receive e-commerce coaching by Algofy Outdoors (pro bono during Cohort).

faq

Got questions about our Cohort Program? Find your answers here.
What is the objective of this outdoor accelerator program?

The program aims to support post-revenue startups and innovative businesses in the outdoor industry by providing them with mentoring, networking opportunities, and resources to help them grow and succeed.

Who can apply for this program?

We welcome applications from startups and small businesses that operate within the outdoor industry. This could include, but is not limited to, companies focusing on outdoor gear, sustainability in outdoor activities, recreational technology, packable food and snacks, adventure tourism, and outdoor education.

What does the program offer?

The program provides $250K in billable mentor hours and supporting services from our partners. In addition, participants will have opportunities to network with industry leaders, receive expert mentorship, and gain exposure to potential investors through BOW’s BreakOut pitch event.

What is the cost of participating in the program?

We are excited to present you with the opportunity to join our cohort program! To get started, there is a $5,000 upfront fee, which covers the initial costs and signifies your commitment to the program. Along with the upfront fee, you have two options for your participation:

Option 1: Revenue Share You can choose the revenue-sharing model, where we request a simple 1.5% of your gross revenue paid quarterly after graduation. The revenue share has a maximum cap of $250,000, ensuring that you can grow your business without overwhelming financial obligations. 

Option 2: Straight Equity Deal Alternatively, if you prefer a different approach, we also offer a straight equity deal through a warrant. In this case, we require a 7% ownership of your business. This option is designed to align our interests and support your growth as entrepreneurs.

Both options are aimed at supporting founders like you while maintaining flexibility and ownership. As an entrepreneurial-friendly organization, we believe the revenue share model is simpler, more cost-effective, and keeps the focus on empowering the right people. However, we understand that different companies have different needs, so we are open to discussing the pros and cons of each approach as we proceed with the acceptance process.

Our goal is to work together and celebrate your success. So, whichever path you choose, we are here to support you on your journey!

How long does the program last, and do I need to relocate?

The program unfolds over an intensive 14-week period, featuring weekly three-hour virtual meetings. Alongside these weekly sessions, participants will also attend three multi-day in-person sessions. After the conclusion of the 14 weeks, we continue to support our graduates with monthly check-ins for the next four months.

What is the application process like?

The application process typically involves submitting an application form detailing your business model, vision, and team. Shortlisted applicants are then invited for an interview.

Will Bend Outdoor Worx fund me?

While BOW doesn't directly provide financial investment, our program is specifically designed to guide businesses in two critical areas. First, we provide strategies and insights on how to effectively grow your company without relying on external funding. Alternatively, for those considering raising capital, we offer instruction on how to approach potential investors, how to present your financial ask, and how to assess the implications of taking on investment funds. Our main goal is to empower you with the knowledge and skills to navigate your business's financial future confidently.

What is the size of each cohort class in the program?

Each cohort class typically consists of 3-5 companies. However, if there are multiple co-founders within these companies, we can accommodate more than one representative per company. This flexibility ensures that the necessary decision-makers are involved in the program, thereby facilitating more effective growth and learning outcomes.

What is the timing of the program?

Our program is structured in two parts. The first is a 14-week intensive phase that runs from February to May. This phase includes weekly sessions and three multi-day in-person meetings. The second phase consists of four monthly check-ins, each lasting three hours, and this goes from June to October.

What is the best approach to involving my board when applying or participating in the program?

Engaging your board in the application or participation process of our program is important. We recommend maintaining transparent and consistent communication. Share with them about the program, its advantages, and how it aligns with the company's objectives. If you are accepted into the program, provide them with regular updates about your progress, learnings, and any strategic decisions arising from the program. If it would be beneficial, we would be more than happy to speak directly with your board members to provide additional information about the program on your behalf.

Our partners

We partner with people who are passionate about the outdoor industry and helping startups succeed.

Alumni Events

At BOW, we're all about connecting and building relationships that last. Discover our alumni events and see how you can stay involved.

WE'RE HERE TO help you LEAD

Ready to become an outdoor industry leader? Apply to our Cohort Program for a chance to get expert mentorship, business advice, and build industry connections. It's time to kick your business into high gear.