The University of Arkansas’ Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program (GORP) will support eight businesses in the fall of 2022, doubling the cohort size compared to GORP’s inaugural spring program.
GORP is one of three community-focused business incubation programs led by the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (OEI) and is housed in The Collaborative, U of A’s education and research center in Bentonville.
“The interactions between the founders are unique as the cohort acts like a team working on individual companies but helping each other succeed,” said Phil Shellhammer, director of GORP. “I expect even more interaction between founders as they get to know each other’s models and provide insights and perspectives to help with early business design.”
GORP will support these startups with workshop training, team mentoring and dedicated product/service development to help them scale globally. The 12-week program also provides up to $15,000 in “non-dilutive seed capital” per business — financing that doesn’t require the owner to give up equity in the business.
Best Ride of Your Life (B-Royl) – Bentonville
Founded by Ironman triathlete Tracy Byrd, B-Royl designs cycling apparel that prevents skin irritation and discomfort while improving performance.
Gnargo Bike Co. – Bentonville
Using a circular supply chain, Gnargo is reinventing discarded bicycles as “modern utility transportation” to help individuals and families looking for an inexpensive way to explore the trails of NWA. Founded by husband-and-wife team Elysia Contreras Springer and Zach Springer, the idea came about after learning that families in Bentonville wanted to cycle in a community setting that was affordable and with minimal impact on the environment.
Just cycling – Fayetteville
Just Bikes intends to be the all-in-one destination for individuals and families exploring NWA’s trail system. Operated by husband and wife team Jennifer Stout and Nathan Stout, Just Bikes offers Airbnb-style accommodations, food and beverage service, and a bike shop just off the trail in south Fayetteville.
Merman Cycling – Bentonville