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WNC Business

Waypoint Accelerator currently accepting applications

Sep 28, 2023 04:24PM ● By WNC Business
Mountain BizWorks, the Outdoor Business Alliance of WNC, and the NC Small Business and Technology Development Center support the fifth Waypoint Accelerator cohort beginning in November.

The Waypoint Accelerator program uniquely harnesses the outdoor industry and venture development expertise of dozens of mentors and partners, as well as the connectivity and camaraderie of almost 150 businesses in the Outdoor Business Alliance, to elevate outdoor businesses and entrepreneurs in their initial years of operation to reach their next peak and set a clear path for a vibrant and successful future. 

Through a supportive and collaborative network, access to channels for growth capital, and the time set aside to focus on the future of the business, Waypoint provides a local and regional base of professional support, industry knowledge sharing, vision, and growth opportunities. Cohort members are embedded in a strong network of mentors and peers that can help refine company plans and products, provide critical feedback, and ultimately help a new business get to market faster.

This program starts November 2, 2023 and wraps March 7, 2024. It is expressly designed for busy entrepreneurs from across our rural region, and only requires three in-person meetings to minimize travel needs.

The program components include action-focused peer cohort sessions, a robust outdoor industry mentor network, and assistance with access to growth capital. 

A Few Key Highlights:

  • Based in Asheville and Western North Carolina, a region with a greater density of outdoor recreation companies than anywhere else on the east coast

  • Embedded in a thriving and collaborative outdoor industry cluster of professionals and strategic partners, many serving as program mentors and advisors

  • 12-session cohort-based program conducted semi-virtually with tailored mentorship and advisor connections

  • Serving 10 North Carolina-based outdoor startups per cohort from gear makers to experience providers and from concept to early sales

  • Strong access-to-capital connections but you don’t have to give up any equity or take investment to participate – and there’s no cost for the first round

  • Includes membership in the Outdoor Business Alliance of WNC

Since beginning this program, company founders have gone on to raise tens of millions of dollars, more than double their revenues and staff capacity within a year of completing the program, and achieve numerous other ambitious and satisfying goals.

Learn more about mentors and advisors, and see members of past cohorts here.

The program cost is $550 per company (up to 2 participants). Applications for the 2023 Waypoint program must be received by 11:59 PM on Oct 12 to be considered for this round. Businesses will receive a response to their application by October 19 at 5:00 PM. Any questions regarding the application process may be addressed to Holly Rivers at Holly@MountainBiz!

Source: Mountain BizWorks