At GoWild, I work hard to be transparent about the platform. We’re a hunting, fishing and outdoors app. Social platforms are taking a beating right now, and rightfully so, and I don’t want to head down the path that’s been beaten. We’re very open about our process, team and the inner workings of our business.

As of today, we have been chosen for an accelerator program, which is directly impacting the business-side of our platform, and in the immediate future doesn’t impact the app’s functionality, but I feel it’s important to share this news for one reason:

This is big for hunting.

Stadia Ventures chose GoWild as one of its 6 companies for its accelerator program. This has been a 5 month process, and we faced global competition. Over 200+ companies from over 40 countries applied. I am so proud of our team for being selected for this great opportunity.

First: What is Stadia, and What is an Accelerator?

Stadia Ventures is an early-stage, sports- and esports-focused venture capital firm. VC firms invest in companies to help them grow, in hopes of a return when the company succeeds. Since 2015, Stadia Ventures has invested in 30 portfolio companies. It is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and has a second operation in Frisco, TX.

The Stadia Ventures Sports Accelerator helps startups like us get to the next level through the combination of investment, intensive mentoring, and connections to the top sports business executives in the country. This isn’t their first rodeo either, as we’re the 8th cohort to come through.

What Was the Process?

We applied in October, and through a series of finalist rounds, we eventually made the Top 10. From there we traveled to St. Louis in January (that’s where Zack and I were going on his episode of Restless Native) to pitch to more than 130 sports, esports and business executives at Stadia’s Finalist Pitch Day.

“Every 6 months, we begin our search yet again for the best sports and esports startups in the world, and this spring, we were simply blown away by the breadth and depth of quality in the applicants,” says co-founder and Managing Director of Stadia Ventures, Tim Hayden. “Because of that, we had the most competitive selection process yet. So, the fact that these 6 remain today truly speaks to their previous traction and future potential.”

How This Impacts GoWild and the Larger Hunting Community

It doesn’t right now. But over time, this could  be huge. Stadia’s network is not just organizations within a traditional sports framework. They are deeply connected in the outdoors space, and will be introducing us to retailers and manufacturers across the industry. As GoWild’s business network strengthens, so does our platform. Over time this will mean more resources, new developers to help add functionality, and even more incredible giveaways, sweepstakes and opportunities for you, the community member.

People use our platform because they love connecting with like minded people. Me, too! That’s why I founded GoWild. Today, as my cofounder and I head to St. Louis on the first of many trips, this is one of my proudest moments in the history of our company. Stadia’s investment, both financial and in their time, proves that hunting and fishing are more than a lifestyle worth saving, we have a financially viable market.

Think about it: A hunting and fishing company just snagged a spot among some of the best sports and tech talent in the world. That proves we have value. And I don’t mean “we” as GoWild—I mean our industry. 

At a time when we hear so much negativity around hunting, I hope this news, if nothing else, gives you some excitement around your lifestyle. It’s also my hope that through our (pending) success, and the success of companies like Outdoor Access (who coincidentally just graduated from Stadia Ventures’ Accelerator Program), we can gain some traction and interest from more tech companies, and investors, and help build a stable economy around this thing we love so much. That’s going to mean more money spent, and more dollars for conservation. I think that’s something we can all get behind.

Submitted by BRAD LUTTRELL

About GoWild
GoWild is the most active, fastest growing social media and activity tracking platform for outdoors enthusiasts. The GoWild app is free. GoWild is headquartered in Louisville, Ky. Download the app for Android, iPhone or Garmin at timetogowild.com.