REI Partners with 6 Brands as New Accelerator Program Launches
REI Path Ahead Ventures is launching its Navigate accelerator program, with an inaugural cohort of six companies. Through its Path Ahead Ventures program, REI partners with founders of color as they further their growth in the outdoor industry. The 16-week Navigate program will bring founders together in-person and online to provide funding, mentorship, curated programming and access to REI’s production, distribution, and marketing expertise.
Each of the six companies (and founders) will be offered a customized learning experience tailored to their individual business needs. Each participating company will receive a $25,000 equity-free grant and have access to additional equity funding opportunities from both REI’s Path Ahead Ventures and its partner in the program, R/GA Ventures. Companies may also be eligible to be featured in REI stores and online. The first-ever Navigate cohort includes the following companies:
- Allmansright - specializes in designing and making environmentally-conscious ultralight gear.
- Alpine Parrot - a public benefit corporation committed to encouraging participation of underrepresented people in the outdoors—specifically people of size and people of color—through the production of technical outdoor apparel in sizes 14 to 24. The company plans to expand its range to size 30 by the end of the year.
- Kobee’s - an all-organic lip balm that allows people to start their sustainability journey one balm at a time. Kobee’s packages their lip balm in cardboard tubes that are biodegradable and compostable, and aluminum tins that are recyclable and reusable.
- Outdoor Element - sparking confident outdoor adventure through innovative gear. OE makes outdoor adventure accessible for everyone by providing quality, multifunctional gear for novice and experienced outdoor enthusiasts alike.
- OYA Femtech Apparel - an athleisure brand that helps athletes fight feminine health issues. Their apparel absorbs moisture, reduces bacteria, and increases natural ventilation.
- PYNRS - makes high-performance running apparel using streetwear design concepts and recycled fabrics with a focus on serving diverse body types.