Four Start-Up Outdoor Product Companies Join Bend Outdoor Worx


Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW), Central Oregon’s outdoor industry accelerator is excited to unveil the companies chosen for its ninth cohort —Aeronaut Outdoor, Ahoya, Rustek Collective, and Ryoken Instinct.

Entering its ninth cycle, the upcoming cohort will be the latest group of outdoor product companies to receive mentorship from BOW’s industry founders since its establishment in 2014. Through discovery meetings, analyzation, and curriculum building, BOW pinpoints the unique needs of each company, providing guidance from both founders and an extended mentor group. The accelerator further aids these companies by linking them with crucial resources for success, including legal assistance, financial planning, marketing, logistics, sales, digital marketing, and product development.

Companies in Cohort #9/Cohort 2024 include:

Aeronaut Outdoor (Ventura, California) — makers of warm and comfortable camping quilts.

Ahoya Life (Bend) — durable inflatable float tubes for outdoor.

Rustek Collective (Portland, Oregon) — creators of the most sustainable hats on earth.

Ryoken Instinct (Seattle, Washington) — pre-scored energy recovery bars for active dogs.

“We are thrilled to welcome the new 2024 cohort to Bend Outdoor Worx,” says Gary Bracelin, BOW co-founder. “Each year, the talent and innovation we see in our accelerator program inspires us, and this year’s group is diverse and exciting. We’re excited about their creative, forward-thinking ideas and look forward to collaborating and growing together.”

About BOW:
After assessing common needs from outdoor industry businesses, Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW) was initially conceived in 2013 by Gary Bracelin, a long-time Bend resident and outdoor industry expert. BOW was officially launched in April 2014, when additional industry experts Will Blount, Justin Rae, and Eric Meade joined Bracelin. The founders represent various skill sets and a multitude of experience with successful organizations.  BOW also has a deep pool of extended mentors that lend their expertise periodically, as well as White-Summers Law, Price Fronk & Co, LLP, the Relativity Agency, and Algofy Outdoors.  For additional information on BOW, contact Gary Bracelin,

BOW’s Manifesto:
We’re dreamers, radicals, achievers, believers and vanguards with a shared belief and a common goal.  We’re an independent organization with independent spirit – and we love the outdoors. We embrace the unpredictable nature and the grit it takes to navigate the hurdles and obstacles in our industry. In fact, we enjoy it. We’re fearless, but we value vulnerability. We encourage risk, but we support solid strategy. We’re not even remotely interested in the status quo.  We’re interested in lending our expertise, our stories and our respect for the crazy-but-we-love-it volatility of the outdoor industry to help our companies adapt, adjust and achieve. WE’RE HERE TO LEAD OUTDOOR INDUSTRY ENTREPRENEURS • IG: @bow.bendoutdoorworx


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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