Archived Outdoors

Outdoor businesses selected for mentorship program

Outdoor businesses selected for mentorship program

Mountain BizWorks has named eight outdoor businesses that have been selected for the fifth cohort of its annual Waypoint Accelerator Program, which offers targeted support and resources for promising early-stage outdoor businesses. 

Selected participants include whitewater kayaking paddle maker ARCA Works LLC; Blue Ridge Elder Adventures, which provides nature-based adventures for older people; Boone-area fly fishing guide service High Country Guide Service and Chosen River Outfitters LLC; Marion-based headwear company Lucky Crow Hat Company; mountain bike instructor MTB Skills Factory; public speaker, author and extreme athlete Peter Ripmaster; whitewater stand up paddling board company Riverskate; and Boone-based backpacking guide service Silva & Soma.

Since 2019, the Waypoint Accelerator Program has helped nearly 40 participating companies grow and diversify their revenues, expand their teams, accomplish game-changing projects and realize big dreams. The companies that comprise Waypoint’s 5th Cohort were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants.

“The quality and momentum of this 5th cohort of early-stage outdoor companies indicates that WNC remains the Outdoor Industry Capital of the East, and a prime place to start and grow an outdoor business,” says Outdoor Business Alliance of WNC Executive Director and Waypoint Accelerator Facilitator Matt Godfrey. “A strong culture of collaboration, mentorship and partnership will help these entrepreneurs thrive and forge their best path to healthy growth.”

The Waypoint Accelerator program is powered by a collaboration that includes the MADE X MTNS PartnershipNC SBTDC and Outdoor Business Alliance of WNC. Learn more at

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.