The University of Arizona has Selected Six Exceptional Startups to Join their Third Cohort in the Esteemed Incubator Program
The University of Arkansas recently announced the selection of six startups for the third cohort of its Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program (GORP). The GORP program, led by the UA’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (OEI), is based at The Collaborative in Bentonville and provides mentoring, product/service development support, and up to $15,000 of non-equity funding to each company for 12 weeks. This spring 2023 cohort consists of five cycling-focused companies and one focusing on mountain climbing.
Senior director of business incubation at OEI, Phil Shellhammer, said he saw the opportunity for “cross-pollination” among the owners in this new cohort. He added that each founder brings unique experiences that could benefit others in the program. Here are some details about all the startups selected for this cohort:
- All Bodies on Bikes Clothing Co., co-founded by Marley Blonsky from Bentonville, offers cycling apparel;
- Best Ride of Your Life (b-royl), co-founded by Ironman triathlete Tracy Byrd and Andrew Jacuzzi from Bentonville, is also into cycling apparel;
- Cloud Pad – created by Alex Huesing and Pedro Somarriba from Bentonville – specializes in outdoor bouldering products;
- Greenway Bike Co., founded by Brent Robinson from Fayetteville converts bicycles from analog to electric;
- Reggy – started by Eliot Jackson across multiple locations – is a platform connecting coaches, event organizers, and cyclists;
- UNCL (Universal Network Controlled Lock) Co., co-founded by four UA MBA students – Michael Burton, Clayton Woodruff, Payton Lenz, and Chris Roderick – provides an app-enabled bicycle security device.
For many entrepreneurs in this program, it will provide much-needed access to resources to help them turn their dreams into reality. It will also allow entrepreneurs to learn from seasoned mentors who can guide them through key decision-making points as they develop products or services geared towards outdoor recreation activities such as cycling or mountain climbing. For some, this will be an opportunity to launch their first venture. In contrast, for others, it could lead to expanding their existing businesses through increased visibility and access to networks within Arkansas’s startup ecosystem.
At the end of the 12-week program, these entrepreneurs will leave with more than just money but also with invaluable skills & experience that can help them as they continue growing their businesses. With so much potential in this space, it looks like Arkansas is moving closer towards its goal of becoming an entrepreneurial hub not only within its borders but beyond as well.