At the OUTFOUND Series adventure festival on 8-11 June, along the banks of the Columbia River in Hood River, Oregon, six start-ups will compete for the opportunity to pitch for entry into Bend Outdoor Worx, a leading start-up incubator for the outdoor industry. This disruptive tradeshow will feature well-known adventure journalist, Shelby Stanger to host the Speaker Series and kick off the start-up competition.
The OUTFOUND Series is billed as the first ever event that blends outdoor innovation in business with social and recreational activities in an adventure-packed setting along the Columbia River Gorge. The three-day event merges a range of activities at the festival:
- OUTFOUND TALKS: a speaker series with leaders and entrepreneurs in sports, business, health and conservation.
- OUTFOUNDER: a start-up competition for up and coming products and services related to the outdoors and adventure-sports industry.
- OUTDOOR FEST: a mixture of outdoor sports activities for pros and attendees, workshops, outdoor films and music performances.
- THE EXPO: an adventure sports trade show where leading brands showcase latest gear and innovative products.
All activities take place on a ‘scenic, 30-acre waterfront outdoor playground filled with sports activities, workshops, outdoor films and music performances.’
The event is designed to draw passionate outdoor enthusiasts and offer a unique opportunity to come together, meet the creators behind the newest outdoor brands, hear about the latest innovations, master new skills through workshops, try out new sports from kiteboarding to acro yoga as well as enjoy music, films and food. Current sponsors include Dogfish Head Beer, Red Bull and Vibram.
In 2015, event co-founders and adventure seekers Antonio Aransaenz and Drew Neumann hatched the idea of OUTFOUND Series.
“There are so many innovative and passionate people in the outdoor world, and with OUTFOUND we set out to create a festival that brings them all together to create a synergy that just can’t happen at a traditional trade show or expo event,” said Aransaenz, OUTFOUND Series co-founder.
“There’s a push in the outdoor industry for more authentic experiences and opportunities where people can really connect with people, meet top athletes and the innovators behind top brands and hear the stories behind adventures and products. At OUTFOUND, all of this can happen while people are experiencing kiteboarding, mountain biking and truly enjoying the outdoors.”
Hood River is known as a world class destination for a diversity of sports including mountain biking, windsports, trail running and whitewater kayaking. This is one of the major reasons Aransaenz and Neumann determined it to be the perfect location for OUTFOUND. “There aren’t many places where you can go kayaking in the morning, pack up and go summer snow skiing 30 minutes away and then top it off with a sunset mountain bike session, all in one day”, said Drew Neumann.
As a long-term goal, OUTFOUND Series hopes to help further solidify Hood River as one of the outdoor innovation capitals of the US and give outdoor enthusiasts and innovators a springboard to launch their own projects. “We are all about helping Hood River become a bedrock for outdoor innovation. It’s an awesome community with a rich sports culture,” added Neumann.
- Bryan Pape (Founder Miir Water bottles)
- Damien Leroy (Professional Kitesurfer/Waterman)
- Sally Bergesen (Founder of Oiselle)
- Kevin Rutherford (CEO of Nuun)
- Mark Healey (Big wave surfer and conservationist)
- Stephan Jacob (Co-Founder of Cotopaxi)
- Alison Vercruysse (Founder of 18 Rabbits)
- Bill Worthington (Founder of Olukai)
- Joe Desena (Founder of Spartan Race)
- Rex Burkholder (Scientist and Social Entrepreneur)
- Cedar Wright (professional Nat Geo climber)
- Steve Jones (Founder of Teton Gravity Research)
- Jamie Danek (Founder of Humm Kombucha)
- Rob Little (Founder of Cairn)
- Boone Speed (pro photographer)