GORP Launches Third Cohort with Six Startups
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – The third cohort of the U of A Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program (GORP) will feature six companies — five focused on cycling and one geared toward mountain climbing — that reflect a multifaceted approach to launching a business.
GORP is the flagship business incubation program led by the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and is housed at The Collaborative, the U of A's education and research hub in Bentonville.
GORP will support these startups with workshop training, team mentoring and dedicated product/service development to help them scale globally. The 12-week program, which begins Jan. 19, also provides up to $15,000 in "non-dilutive seed funding" per company — funding that doesn't require the owner to give up equity in the company.
Phil Shellhammer, OEI's senior director of business incubation, said the cohort offers a chance for cross-pollination among a diverse set of founders.
"Each individual founder brings with them unique and valuable experiences that I can see beneficial to some of the other founders in the cohort," Shellhammer said.
Shellhammer also believes the Spring 2023 cohort could help boost awareness of the offerings that GORP provides Arkansas entrepreneurs.
"The community influence of these founders has the potential to not only drive successful launches for their businesses, but also drive provide awareness of the extensive support available to future founders with a problem to solve," he said.
Established in Spring 2022, GORP has helped several Arkansas startups launch and expand their businesses. Cate Handley, co-founder of Yonder Adventure Company, participated in the Fall 2022 cohort and said GORP helped her company learn "how to tell our story."
GORP also aided Yonder Adventure Co. as it added a booking platform and management software to the company's website, Handley said. She also praised GORP's access to expert mentors and its weekly workshops, which she said offered an intense learning environment.
"It's just been an amazing resource to be able to refine our business strategy," Handley said.
GORP's Spring 2023 Cohort
All Bodies on Bikes Clothing Co. — Bentonville
All Bodies on Bikes is a size-inclusive cycling brand that believes all bodies should get to enjoy the thrill of cycling with clothing that fits well and looks good. Co-founded by Marley Blonsky, All Bodies on Bikes Clothing Co. seeks to make cycling clothing available in sizes XL to 6X.
Best Ride of Your Life (B-Royl) — Bentonville
B-Royl is designing high-performance cycling apparel that prevents skin irritation and discomfort while enhancing performance. Co-founded by Ironman triathlete Tracy Byrd and Andrew Jacuzzi, B-Royl's product will allow cyclists to comfortably ride longer.
Cloud Pad — Bentonville
Composed of passionate rock climbers, Cloud Pad is building innovative products that make outdoor bouldering safer, easier and more affordable. Co-founded by Alex Huesing and Pedro Somarriba, Cloud Pad is eliminating barriers to entry in this sport and pushing bouldering to new heights.
Greenway Bike Company — Fayetteville
Greenway Bike Company is helping people live their best lives by electrifying every unused bike in America. Founded by Brent Robinson, GBC converts run-of-the-mill analog bikes into electric assist bikes using an electric "mid-drive" motor.
Reggy — Multiple locations
Reggy brings world-class tools to coaches and event organizers that help them connect with cyclists. Founded by Eliot Jackson, Reggy makes creating experiences lightning fast and eliminates the need for multiple scheduling, payment, email and website solutions so they can focus on doing what they love.
UNCL Co. LLC — Bentonville
UNCL Co., short for Universal Network Controlled Lock, is an app-enabled security device that retrofits to public bike racks allowing riders to secure and monitor their bike while frequenting local establishments without the need to carry a personal bike lock. UNCL Co. emerged from the New Venture Development course in the Sam M. Walton College of Business and is co-founded by Master of Business Administration students Michael Burton, Clayton Woodruff, Payton Lenz and Chris Roderick.
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 across 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 provides free workshops and programs — including social and corporate innovation design teams, venture internships, competitions and startup coaching. A unit of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and Division of Economic Development, the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation also offers on-demand support for students who will be innovators within existing organizations and entrepreneurs who start something new.
Brandon Howard, communications and social media specialist
Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Savannah Baptiste Selected as March Student Leader of the Month
Sophomore Savannah Baptiste has been selected as the Student Leader of the Month for March 2023.
Women's History Month: Dorothy McFadden Hoover
Hoover was the first African American woman to be promoted to the Stability Analysis section, the first African American woman to achieve the title of Aeronautical Research Scientist and the first African American woman to co-publish with her supervisor. Hoover's research and calculations helped to design the modern jet wing.
Mathematical Sciences Professor Helps Solve 50-Year-Old Problem
Chaim Goodman-Strauss, professor of mathematics, helped prove that a single, recently discovered 13-sided shape could be tiled across a plane without creating a periodic symmetry.
Fay Jones School Hosts Environmental Designer Ian Rolston for Diversity and Design Workshop
Rolston, a renowned Canadian environmental designer, led the Together in Diversity and Design workshop, exploring equity, empathy and compassion with students through a design reflection of their space.
Housing's Felisha Perrodin Named Jim Gibson Exceptional Service Award Winner
Felisha Perrodin, assistant director for administrative services, received the Jim Gibson Exceptional Service Award at a recent Southwest Association of College & University Housing Officers conference.