NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division (ORD) held its second annual Adventure Pitch competition and three businesses walked away with cash prizes.
Adventure Pitch, which took place in Santa Fe on Oct. 25, was composed of six finalists who took the stage for a five-minute live pitch in front of hundreds of conference attendees and a panel of investor and economic development judges.
The winners of the competition are listed below:
- First place winner: Rezo Systems, Founder Marc Harrell
- Prize: $10,000
- Located in Taos, this software development company is focused on building software applications for the outdoor recreation industry. They currently have four active software platforms in the market with clients both in the state and nationally.
- Second place winner: GILZ LLC, Founder Josh Kefauver
- Prize: $3,000
- This New Mexico-based social venture is dedicated to revolutionizing personal air pollution protection products. The GILZ Clean Helmet enables helmet wearers to breathe clean air and maintain comfort in any environment while meeting industry safety standards and merging cutting-edge technology with style. This technology is an homage to the “cleanroom” invented at Sandia National Laboratories.
- Third place winner: Buttnski, Co-founder Kelly Mazanti-Nelson
- Prize: $2,000
- This brand is women-owned and operated in Summit County, Colorado, making adventurous clothing that is both stylish and performs. The family-inspired product line began with influence from a fleece short worn for decades that kept Kelly’s mom warm on cold ski chairlifts. Buttnski has expansion plans for New Mexico in the future.
Other finalists included Bowdacious Bowrest, with the world’s first hydraulic stabilizer for compound bows; Snowy Optics Inc., with lightweight, frameless, adhesive eyewear; and Trail 9 Outdoors, with their inflate and accelerate hydration system dryer pod.
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Competitors also earned full complimentary entrance to the Outdoor Economics Conference, a dedicated post-competition adventure tour, and several days of networking with hundreds of state outdoor recreation leaders, possible funders, industry experts, fellow outdoor business owners, and elected officials.
This year, ORD and CNM Ingenuity received 24 applications, an increase from last year as the event grows in notoriety.
“The entrepreneurs at Adventure Pitch bring innovation to a new level and represent how New Mexico continues to be a leader in the outdoor recreation economy,” ORD Director Karina Armijo said. “ORD is proud to continue this annual event to support the prowess and potential of these startups. Each applicant can substantially impact our state outdoor recreation economy through job creation and increasing income through their ventures.”