UA incubator selects 6 startups for third cohort

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 1,053 views 

The University of Arkansas announced Friday (Jan. 20) that six startups will participate in the third cohort of the Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program (GORP). The spring 2023 cohort includes five companies focused on cycling and one with a focus on mountain climbing.

According to a news release, GORP is the flagship business incubation program led by the UA’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (OEI). It is based at The Collaborative, the university’s education and research hub in Bentonville.

GORP will support the startups with training, mentoring and product and service development to help them scale globally, the release shows. The 12-week program, which started Thursday (Jan. 19), provides each company with up to $15,000 in funding that doesn’t require the owner to give up equity.

Phil Shellhammer, OEI’s senior director of business incubation, said the cohort offers an opportunity for “cross-pollination” among the owners.

“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.

Following are the cohort startups:

  • All Bodies on Bikes Clothing Co., Bentonville. The cycling apparel company was co-founded by Marley Blonsky.
  • Best Ride of Your Life (b-royl), Bentonville. The cycling apparel company was co-founded by Ironman triathlete Tracy Byrd and Andrew Jacuzzi.
  • Cloud Pad, Bentonville. The outdoor bouldering products company was co-founded by Alex Huesing and Pedro Somarriba.
  • Greenway Bike Co., Fayetteville. The company that’s converting bicycles from analog to electric was founded by Brent Robinson.
  • Reggy, multiple locations. The company that offers tools to connect coaches and event organizers with cyclists was founded by Eliot Jackson.
  • UNCL (Universal Network Controlled Lock) Co., Bentonville. The startup comprises an app-enabled security device for bicycles and was co-founded by UA MBA students Michael Burton, Clayton Woodruff, Payton Lenz and Chris Roderick.