The University of Arkansas Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program announced its third cohort of startups. 6 companies were selected to help them scale globally.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas’ Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program (GORP) announced its third cohort of startups.
The program announced it will help 6 companies for their newest cohort. Five of the companies focus on cycling, one on mountaineering.
According to the press release, GORP will support these startups with workshop training, team mentoring, and dedicated product/service development to help them scale globally.
Eliot Jackson is the founder of the Reggy website. Explaining his background in downhill mountain bike racing, Jackson said that when he travels, he faces the problem of integrating into the cycling community in new places.
“Think of it like an Airbnb site,” Jackson said. “Reggy is that platform that allows cyclists to find anything they want to do on a bike. So it can be races, coaching and the like.”
Marley Blonksy is another entrepreneur in the program’s third cohort. She considered expanding her already existing nonprofit organization, All Bodies on Bikes, to make cycling more inclusive.
“We’re a community organization, we run rides that we advise to make the industry more inclusive. And then the number one request we received from our community was clothing. So I said, okay, let’s do a clothing line to match, all of us,” Blonsky explained. “If you’re taller than me, I’m the average height of a woman in the US and I’m a size 18. That’s my height. You can’t find them in most places.”
The 12-week program also offers up to $15,000 in “non-dilutive seed funding” per company. The financing means owners don’t have to give up any of the company’s equity.
“Most of us who are in the cohort don’t know the slightest thing about starting our own business or being a small business owner. So they really took us from the ground up to hopefully production and launch,” Blonsky said.
“It really gives you the tools you would need to develop a business, especially in the early stages,” Jackson said. “Often times an accelerator would say, ‘okay, we’re going to put some equity into your company, which then puts you on the path, like venture capital and raising more money.’
In a press release, the University of Arkansas listed the following companies for Gorp’s Spring 2023 cohort:
- All bodies at Bikes Clothing Co. – Bentonville
All Bodies on Bikes is a bike brand that caters to all sizes and believes that all bodies should enjoy the thrill of cycling with clothing that fits well and looks good. All Bodies on Bikes Clothing Co. was co-founded by Marley Blonsky and aims to make bike clothing available in sizes XL through 6X.
- Best Ride of Your Life (B-Royl) – Bentonville
B-Royl develops high-performance cycling clothing that prevents skin irritation and discomfort while increasing performance. Co-founded by Ironman triathletes Tracy Byrd and Andrew Jacuzzi, B-Royl’s product will allow cyclists to ride comfortably for longer.
- Cloud Pad – Bentonville
Composed of passionate climbers, Cloud Pad creates innovative products that make outdoor bouldering safer, easier and more affordable. Co-founded by Alex Huesing and Pedro Somarriba, Cloud Pad is breaking down barriers to entry into the sport and pushing bouldering to new heights.
Greenway Bike Company helps people live their best life by electrifying every idle bike in America. Founded by Brent Robinson, GBC converts ordinary analog bikes into electric assist bikes that use an electric “mid-drive” motor.
- Reggy – Multiple locations
Reggy provides coaches and organizers with world-class tools to help them connect with cyclists. Founded by Eliot Jackson, Reggy makes building experiences lightning fast, eliminating the need for multiple scheduling, payments, email and website solutions so they can focus on what they love.
- UNCL Co. LLC – Bentonville
UNCL Co., short for Universal Network Controlled Lock, is an app-enabled security device that can be retrofitted to public bike racks, allowing riders to secure and monitor their bike while visiting local facilities without having to carry a personal bike lock with them to have to lead. UNCL Co. grew out of the New Venture Development course at Sam M. Walton College of Business and is co-founded by Master of Business Administration students Michael Burton, Clayton Woodruff, Payton Lenz and Chris Roderick.
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