Jennifer Stout and Nathan Stout introduce the company of Just Bikes, a startup aimed at providing family dining and cycling retail experiences along trails in the area.
BENTONVILLE, Arkansas – Cate Handley jokes that it’s “hard” to pick just one way the Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program (GORP) has benefited her startup.
But when it came to the nudge, Handley said GORP probably taught her company “how to tell our story.”
Co-owner of Yonder Adventure Company, Handley joined six other companies at GORP’s demo night last month, and the Fall 2022 cohort presented learnings and prototypes at the end of the 12-week program. Handlery and her partner Joe Goodwin founded the Yonder Adventure Company to offer full-service, highly customizable float tours on the Buffalo River via oar-driven drift her boat Did.
According to Handley, GORP has helped the company make significant gains, including adding a booking platform and management software to its website. She also praised GORP’s access to expert mentors and weekly workshops, which she said provided an intensive learning environment.
“It’s been a great resource for improving our business strategy,” says Handley.
Two cycling-focused companies in the cohort — XNA Bikes and Merman Bicycles — are gearing up for an early 2023 product launch. Morii is a multi-purpose device that allows you to enjoy camping in an SUV.
Startup Just Bikes, which aims to offer a family-friendly restaurant and cycling retail experience along the region’s trails, hopes to start developing the site early next year. And Gnargo Bike Co., which builds cargo bikes from discarded bicycles, is focused on expanding and streamlining its manufacturing process.
The progress the company made in just 12 weeks impressed local Ironman triathlete and entrepreneur Tracy Byrd.
“It’s amazing to come here now and 12 weeks from now to sit back and see what they’ve done, what they’ve learned, what they’re doing and where they’re going,” Byrd said.
Overseen by the U of A Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, GORP is a business incubator focused on the outdoor recreation industry. The program is housed in the greenhouse of the U of A Collaborative in Bentonville.
GORP will support startups in each cohort with workshop training, team mentoring, and dedicated product/service development to enable startups to scale globally. GORP will also provide “undiluted seed funding” of up to $15,000 per company. This is funds that do not require owners to give up their shares in the company.
Applications for the GORP Spring 2023 cohort are now open. Residents of both Northwest Arkansas and the greater Heartland area, as well as current U of A students, are eligible for the GORP program.
GORP’s Fall 2022 Cohort:
- Gnargo Bike Co. — Bentonville
- Using a circular supply chain, Gnargo reinvents discarded bicycles into “modern public transportation,” empowering individuals and families looking for a low-cost way to explore the trails of northwest Arkansas. I am supporting. Founded by her husband and wife team, Elysia Contreras Springer and Zach Springer, the idea is for Bentonville families to ride bikes in an affordable, low-impact, communal setting. I was born after I knew I wanted to.
- Just Bikes — Fayetteville
- Just Bikes plans to be an all-in-one destination for individuals and families exploring the Northwest Arkansas trail system. Just Bikes, operated by husband and wife Jennifer and Nathan Stout, offers trail-side accommodations, dining options and bike shops in south Fayetteville.
- Merman Bicycles — Bentonville
- Born from the soil of northwest Arkansas, Merman Bikes designs and builds progressive, party-inducing bikes that ride anywhere in comfort. The company’s co-founders, Tyler Siems and Taylor Weichman, together have over 15 years of experience in the cycling industry.
- Molly — Fayetteville
- Created by Colin Whittington, the Yonder is an inexpensive multi-purpose device for camping inside your SUV that also helps you store, organize, and prepare for outdoor activities.
- Rover Hunting Gear — Springdale
- Rover intends to offer an all-in-one mobile tree stand system for hunters from loading to harvesting.
- XNA Bikes — Bentonville
- XNA Bikes is on a mission to lower the barriers to competitive cycling by providing quality, affordable carbon frame bikes. A team of Deihl Betz, Saul Fernandez, and David Lopez will eventually build a bike in northwest Arkansas, incorporate the student-athlete into the business to leverage his STEM skills, and provide hands-on education. I’m planning to
- Yonder Adventure Company — Little Rock
- Formed by two active leaders of the Arkansas Canoe Club, Kate Handlery and Joe Goodwin, Yonder Adventure Company offers full-service, highly customizable float tours on the Buffalo River on oar-powered drift boats. I’m here. The company will arrange food, equipment and logistics for his one-day or multi-day trips for up to six people.
About the U of A Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation:The Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation creates and curates innovation and entrepreneurship experiences for students of all disciplines. Through the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, McMillon Innovation Studio, Startup Village, and Greenhouse at the Bentonville Collaborative, the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation offers free workshops and programs. This includes social and corporate innovation design teams, venture internships, contests, and startup coaching. A division of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and Economic Development, the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation also offers on-demand support to students becoming innovators within existing organizations and entrepreneurs starting new things. increase.