Pitch your business to outdoor industry leaders, gain valuable feedback, insight, and visibility to accelerate growth.
Applications have closed for 2016 Pitchfest. Please check back for finalist information to be announced soon.
OIWC's Pitchfest is the only dedicated channel to inspire and drive innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship among women led companies with a passion and love for the outdoors. The 2ndAnnual Pitchfest, is a public event on August 2 in Salt Lake City, Utah where women entrepreneurs showcase their businesses and growth plans to some of the active outdoor industry’s most influential CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders.
Finalists will be chosen on the strength of their application, involvement/impact on the outdoor experience, knowledge of their business, and understanding of growth hurdles. Once chosen, finalist will have two months to prepare their pitch. Pitchfest finalists will be paired with an experienced mentor/coach to help them identify, frame, and articulate challenges and solutions to current business growth. The judges will then give them live feedback on their challenges and next steps.
2016 Judging Panel
Sally McCoy, Outdoor Industry Leader and Entrepreneur
Jerry Stritzke, President and CEO of REI
Dan Nordstrom, CEO of Outdoor Research, Inc.
Jill Layfield, OIWC Board Member; Former CEO of Backcountry and Technology and Outdoor Industry Leader
Susan Viscon, OIWC Board Member; Senior Vice President at REI
Matt Compton, Technology Entrepreneur and Investor, COO of Simple Finance
Learn more about each member of the judging panel here.
2016 Mentors & Coaches
Kelly Dwight O'Neill
Learn more about each mentor and coach here.
"Without an organization like OIWC willing to support women like me, I may have never had the
opportunity to share the MaskIT story in front of such an incredibly respected group of people/judges.
I may have never had the opportunity to meet so many other inspiring women entrepreneurs
or made connections that I'm sure will be invaluable.”
–Shallan Ramsey, 2015 Pitchfest finalist
Who Should Apply?
We welcome all women led businesses with a commitment to business growth, belief in OIWC’s guiding principles, and focus on the outdoor industries to apply.
Additional criteria include:
- Company traction: Able to demonstrate market traction (letter of intent, customers, awards, etc) and/or revenue.
- Ownership: At least 50% female owned and applicant is cofounder or in other key leadership role.
- Leadership/Management: Must currently have a woman in the key leadership role (CEO, president, etc)
- Industry Focus: Business focus must directly relate to or affect the bike, run, snow, and/or outdoor industries.
- Availability: Applicants must be able to appear in person on August 2, 2016 in Salt Lake City, UT to compete.
Why Should I Apply?
Throughout the process, OIWC partners with top entrepreneurs to provide support, mentorship, and community to finalists. The PRIZE of Pitchfest is the process and the Pitch.
- Exposure:You will have the rare opportunity to pitch in front of a judging panel of high level industry executives and successful entrepreneurs. Additionally, OIWC will fill the audience with buyers, investors, and many other influential industry leaders. You will also attend the Outdoor Retailer media event after the pitch.
- Live feedback: You will get direct feedback on your pitch from your mentor and judges which will give you a better understanding of the next opportunity for growth.
- Refined business needs: You will have dedicated time up to the pitch to focus on what your business needs to make it to the next step.
- Connections: The more people you make aware of your business, the more opportunity for future connections and partners. You will form connections with the mentors, the other finalists, the judges, and members from the audience.
- Credibility: Being chosen as a finalist for an industry specific pitch shows customers and investors that you have traction within the market.
- Access: Each finalist will receive two passes to the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show and free access to Smartmouth Communication's Presentations Course: Fundamental Skills for Public Speakers.
What to expect if I am chosen as a finalist?
The finalists will be given two months to prepare their pitch. The following is what to expect during these two months:
- Mentorship: You will be paired with a mentor for 1:1 support and feedback on the content of your pitch.
- Pitch deck support: We will have a coach help guide you on your pitch deck, including webinars and 1:1 support. The mentors will also help with your pitch content and direction.
- Public speaking support: We will have a coach to help you refine your public speaking.
- Pitch practice: You will have several opportunities to practice and refine your pitch
- Presentation: Only one person can present, and you must be in present in person for the pitch.
- Time commitment: The time commitment will vary depending on your pitch experience and the stage of your business. We estimate it will take a minimum of two hours a week. We know you have business to run, so we will focus our support directly on your pitch needs.
How to apply?
Applications will open on this website on March 1, 2016. The application will close on April 30, 2016.
The application involves filling out information about yourself, your company, and your hurdles to growth. Below is a summary of what to expect in the application. Please use the information below as a guideline for preparing your application.
Company description: High level overview of company, Team members, Summary of market traction (awards, letters of intent, partners, etc)
Company financials: Revenue, raised capital, expenses, profits
Business strategy: Problem your business is solving, competitive advantage, challenges to growing your business, goals for participating in Pitchfest
Video: Introduce yourself, your business, why you think you are positioned to succeed in business
Where can I find more information?
Download our FAQ or Application Worksheet to help guide you through the application process.
2015 cohort: Pitchfest was launched in 2015 at the Outdoors Retailer Summer Market. Our 2015 Finalists represent some of the most inspirational and thoughtful early-stage entrepreneurs in our industries and presented their ideas to an esteemed judging panel composed of in an invitation-only event.
OIWC's Pitchfest: Transforming the outdoor industry through fresh thinking and incomparable talent.
Funded in part by: The REI Foundation's Mary Anderson Legacy Grant.