Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW), Central Oregon’s outdoor industry accelerator, just keeps cranking out cohorts of outdoor startups. Their next group starts this September and includes Bosky Optics, Fat Chance Bicycles and Zealios.
This is the fourth group of companies to receive guidance from BOW’s industry founders. The accelerator analyzes the startups’ needs, develops a custom curriculum and then provides guidance to the startups via BOW’s founders and connections with industry experts. BOW also connects startups with legal assistance, financial planning, marketing, logistics, sales, marketing and product development.
This little-accelerator-that-could claims several very cool Central Oregon startups as alum including Cairn, The Robert Axle Project, Homeschool Apparel, Freerange Equipment and SnoPlanks. The next cohort seems like a great addition.
“This new team of emerging businesses is exactly what BOW is designed to do–help companies in the outdoor sector scale and reach their goals faster and better through mentoring and guidance. I couldn’t be more proud of BOW and the high caliber clients were seeing come into our cohorts,” says BOW co-founder Eric Meade.
Here’s a bit more on the newest BOW startups:
- Bosky Optics (Portland Oregon) is an unconventional performance eyewear company using natural & sustainable materials. Founder Matthew Minor, a graduate of the OSU Accelerator program, began Bosky in 2015. Bosky’s initial successes include being featured in Vogue & Esquire, attracting strong athlete endorsements and significant early sales performance.
- Fat Chance Bicycles (Ashland, Oregon) is an iconic high-end mountain bike brand of the 80s and 90s founded by Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee, Chris Chance. Fat Chance built a legendary reputation and cult following through innovative high quality product fused with a sense of fun and personality. The brand was re-launched in 2015 with a highly successful Kickstarter campaign and ecommerce site. Early revenue was over six-figures for the re-launch.
- Zealios (Bend, Oregon) is performance personal care products for endurance athletes, founded by University of Washington classmates, Austin Britts and Kevin Fuller, both armed with a BA in Economics with a focus on International trade and a decade in wholesale chemical trade decided to make the best sunscreen on the planet. Zealios introduced their flagship product, Sun Barrier SPF 45, in 2012. Following soaring ecommerce sales and great success on Amazon, they are now developing wholesale distribution starting with Sports Basement and Mike’s Bikes in the Bay Area and experienced growth last season of over 250%. They also attracted athlete endorsements such as Jesse Thomas and Heather Jackson (both of Bend).
Related: We’ve had the opportunity to get to Zealios, and this is the truth: the sunscreen rocks. Good luck to this next BOW cohort!
You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].