Kicking back in Brevard / SylvanSport

Our Industry

WNC IS THE OUTDOOR INDUSTRY HUB OF THE EAST

Whether you are dreaming of starting your own company or ready to expand, WNC has a support network and the resources to help you thrive. Our companies compete brilliantly on the international stage, but they are dedicated to supporting one another at home and helping grow the outdoor industry here.

Ask any company here: the network and collaborative spirit here is unlike anywhere else, these mountains offer an ideal product development testing ground, and our people are proud to make truly extraordinary gear and offering amazing experiences.

We have the industrial base of a place like Ohio and the outdoor recreational base of a place like Colorado.

Tom Dempsey, Founder of SylvanSport

Pressing a headset / Cane Creek Cycling

outdoor gear builders

Outdoor Gear Builders, or OGB, is our collaborative network of manufacturers, outfitters, retailers, nonprofits and partners that represents the largest concentration of outdoor businesses east of the Rockies and the first regional outdoor industry association in the US. The OGB’s mission is to Cultivate, Connect, and Support a community of outdoor industry leaders here in Western North Carolina. Our member companies are dedicated to supporting one another and the region in growing our outdoor economy.
VISIT OUTDOOR GEAR BUILDERS
Freshly anodized hubs / Industry Nine

THE NORTH CAROLINA OUTDOOR RECREATION INDUSTRY OFFICE

The Outdoor Recreation Industry Office of North Carolina , a department of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, is the first state outdoor industry office in the Eastern US. It is focused on recruiting new businesses to the state, supporting the needs of existing businesses, connecting exporters to global customers, and helping small business owners get their start. The office promotes conservation and stewardship, workforce training, economic development, and public health and wellness to ensure the state’s strategic growth as a place where outdoor businesses and recreation communities can thrive.
VISIT THE NC OUTDOOR RECREATION INDUSTRY OFFICE
Riding the Fire Mountain Trails / Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

MOUNTAIN BIZWORKS

Mountain Bizworks is one of the best small business financing and training organizations in the nation. From the Waypoint Accelerator, the first outdoor industry business accelerator in the East, to small business financing, coaching, mentorship, and training programs, Mountain BizWorks is here to help small businesses start, grow, and thrive.
VISIT MOUNTAIN BIZWORKS

Key Industry Facts & Stats

    Hub For Outdoor Business

    Hub For Outdoor Business

    The Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC is the Largest Concentration of Outdoor Companies East of the Rockies, composed of manufacturers, outfitters, retailers, and partners dedicated to supporting one another and growing our outdoor economy.

    Outdoor Business Accelerator

    Outdoor Business Accelerator

    WNC is home to the Waypoint Accelerator, the First Outdoor Business Accelerator Program in the East, a cohort-based outdoor entrepreneurship and innovation program for early-stage, outdoor-focused companies ready for growth.

    Outdoor Recreation Office

    Outdoor Recreation Office

    The NC Outdoor Recreation Industry Office works to ensure the state’s strategic growth as a place where outdoor businesses and recreation communities thrive. It was the 4th such office established in the US, and the 1st in the East.

    Outdoor Economy Conference

    Outdoor Economy Conference

    This Annual Event is the Nation’s largest conference dedicated to growing the Outdoor Economy both here in WNC and across the globe; 2020 saw attendees from 32 US states and 5 countries on 4 continents.

    Market Proximity

    Market Proximity

    WNC is within a day’s drive of 50% of the US population and close to numerous major ports and transportation hubs, making it an ideal location for your growing business.

    Manufactur- ing Powerhouse

    Manufactur- ing Powerhouse

    Manufacturing has been the backbone of NC’s economy since the 1880’s when textile mills began to flourish in the state and continues on today with the largest manufacturing workforce in the Southeastern US and tremendous community support.

Thrive Here

These mountains have made dreamers and doers, tinkerers and builders, industry leaders and pioneers.
FIND A CAREER IN THE OUTDOOR INDUSTRY
Thrive Here