Bend Outdoor Worx Inaugural Companies all made Finals in Recent Bend Venture Conference


A first in the Bend Venture Conference history, four outdoor industry companies were chosen to participate in the recent 11th annual competition. Three of those companies, Homeschool Technical Apparel, Cairn and Free Range Backpacks, were part of the inaugural session for Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW), the new Central Oregon outdoor industry incubator, a collective that helps provide resources to emerging or developing outdoor industry companies.

Homeschool Technical Apparel, a technical outdoor apparel company, was invited to pitch on stage in the launch category and won the Audience Favorite vote. Cairn, a monthly subscription box service for outdoor enthusiasts, pitched during the concept stage and won a $15,000 marketing package. Free Range Backpacks, technical, light-weight backpacks for backcountry/multi-sport athletes, also pitched during the concept stage of the conference.

The inclusion of all three outdoor industry companies was a first for the conference, and a representation of the diverse mix of new businesses in the Central Oregon community.

“We considered our presence at BVC a great success,” said Gary Bracelin, one of the BOW founders and mentors. “We’re very proud of our companies and excited about the momentum and future of the outdoor industry in our community.”

BOW focuses on local companies as well as businesses in the outdoor industry who would like to move to Central Oregon, offering mentorships, infrastructure, related resources and industry connections to help outdoor companies become more sustainable and successful. For additional information on BOW, contact Gary Bracelin,


Homeschool Technical Apparel
With one goal in mind, Homeschool Technical Apparel launched an outerwear business in 2012 with the intent to make the best technical snowboard apparel available. Breathability, durability and timeless design are the cornerstones of the business. Visit for more information.

A new monthly subscription service for outdoor enthusiasts, Cairn carefully curates new and interesting outdoor gear and sends it directly to subscribers for a monthly fee. Additionally, Cairn collects data from their subscribers in the form of demographics and product reviews to provide back to participating brands. Visit to learn more.

Free Range Backpacks
Simple, functional, durable, weight-conscious, minimalist backpacking equipment for backcountry, and multi-sport athletes. For more information, email or check out Free Range Equipment on Facebook.


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