Moosejaw, a leading retailer specializing in outdoor gear and apparel, today announced the winners of its fourth-annual Outdoor Accelerator Program (MOA) in conjunction with partner ICELab . Aimed at boosting startup companies and increasing diversity within the outdoor industry, the company received over 40 submissions, narrowing it down to 10 finalists. Voting for the final ten ran from February 25th through March 6th and the four winning companies selected for the 2023 Accelerator program are: Coastal Range Equipment, Fernweh Food Co., Near Zero, WNDR Outdoors,
MOA’s mission is to help founders from diverse backgrounds achieve their dreams of growing a successful outdoor company. This year’s winners include a variety of products from cooking gear and food to a backpack and plus size clothing. The program provides access to educational and network resources, strategic mentorships, legal advice, and potential investors.
“We strongly believe in supporting the next generation of outdoor entrepreneurs because they breathe a fresh perspective into our community, and through their distinctive products, they are able to introduce more consumers to the outdoor experience,” said Eoin Comerford, CEO Moosejaw. “We have seen with our previous winners, when given strategic advice on marketing, eCommerce and retail, they have gone on to be very successful.”
The four chosen outdoor startups will participate in an eight-week comprehensive program beginning May 8 structured to turbocharge their growth. The MOA program is designed for startup organizations that are pre-revenue, but have an advanced business plan and a prototype for physical products. While not a requirement, the MOA initiative seeks to support founders from underrepresented groups in the outdoor industry or businesses whose mission is to improve inclusivity and accessibility for all outdoors.
Coastal Range Equipment – California
Coastal Range Equipment engineers lightweight, high quality, and easy-to-uses outdoor cooking gear designed to fuel human-powered outdoor activities. These stoves are designed by an award-winning designer John Peretti who set out on his own to further innovate in the camp stove space. Coastal Range Equipment produces affordable, simple solutions to backcountry cooking that are accessible to all.
Fernweh Food Co. – Oregon
Fernweh Food Co. makes great tasting, plant-based and gluten-free dehydrated meals – all in sustainable packaging. This woman-led team by founder Ashley Lance aims to reduce waste in the adventure food industry by eliminating single-use plastics that end up in landfills. Fernweh’s packaging is entirely omnidegradable, and will break down into biomass and CO2 no matter where it ends up. On top of sustainable packaging, the meals are delicious and entirely vegan and free of preservatives.
Near Zero – Arizona
Near Zero specializes in bundled lightweight backpacking gear designed to give everyone the confidence to get out and go. Their patent-pending backpack design delivers quick and easy access to all gear using a labeled and compartmentalized storage system that is designed to maximize comfort and optimize weight distribution. Near Zero even builds standard ultralight bundles, making it convenient to get out there for newcomers and old pros alike. Founded by Scott Jensen.
WNDR Outdoors – Colorado & Vermont
Created by plus-size adventurers Arwen Turner & Kara Hardman for plus-size adventurers, WNDR Outdoors strives to increase representation of larger-bodied folks outdoors by creating technical outdoor apparel in true plus sizes. 68% of women in the US are a size 14 and above, yet the outdoor industry has historically excluded this population. Finding plus-size technical hiking pants that are high quality, fit comfortably, and have useful tech specs is difficult. Brands that do include plus-sizes most commonly only go up to size 22 and these extended-sizes of the straight size (non-plus size) fits are not made with plus-size bodies in mind. WNDR Outdoors aims to change that.
About Moosejaw: Founded in 1992, Moosejaw is a leading online active outdoor retailer with a large web presence as well as 12 physical stores. It carries more than 600 brands, including Marmot, Fjallraven and Prana and includes an extensive assortment of apparel and gear for climbing, hiking, camping, snow sports, yoga, water sports and biking. Moosejaw is headquartered in Madison Heights, Michigan.