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Springs entrepreneurs place third in L.A. competition

June 10, 2016 Updated: June 10, 2016 at 6:05 pm
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photo - This combination of a FERA Bomber Jacket, Marmot snow pants, Optic Nerve Eyewear goggles, Patagonia mid layer is an example of some of the gear available for rent at GetOutfitted. Image via the GetOutfitted Facebook page.
This combination of a FERA Bomber Jacket, Marmot snow pants, Optic Nerve Eyewear goggles, Patagonia mid layer is an example of some of the gear available for rent at GetOutfitted. Image via the GetOutfitted Facebook page. 

Colorado Springs-based GetOutfitted finished third Thursday night in the Capital Championship in Los Angeles, where the winner receiveD a $250,000 cash prize.

Quickzip, a Denver-based company that produces a two-part fitted sheet that zips together, won the competition and $250,000 investment, while Parknav, a Chicago-based service that helps people find on-street parking, finished second in the two-month process. The two companies, along with GetOutfitted, a 3-year-old company that rents premium outdoor gear delivered to a customer's home or vacation destination for one-time use were selected Wednesday to compete in the final round based on pitches made at booths each company set up for the competition.

Students compete for $50,000 in prize money during The Big Idea, an innovation and entrepreneurship competition at the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center. Kadi Energy won the biggest prize of $25,000 with iDro and Colorado Springs Food Rescue capturing the other prize money. 

"I am pretty excited and nervous. I am proud of where we have gotten and validated that what we are doing means something," GetOutfitted CEO Julian Flores said Thursday before the final round. "I feel really good about our chances. The other (finalist) teams are great and I would feel good losing to them."

GetOutfitted carries seven categories of summer outdoor gear and three categories of winter gear from more than 20 manufacturers, including Patagonia, Kelty, Burton and Oru Kayak and recently launched a "try before you buy" program where customers can rent gear for a week and then buy it with the rental fee credited toward the purchase price.

The company, which now employs eight full-time and up to 10 part-time seasonal employees, is trying to raise up to $2 million from venture capital funds and other institutional investors to expand its engineering and marketing staffs, purchase additional inventory, expand its distribution centers and boost its customer acquisition efforts, he said.

Ellen Atkinson, left, and Paul-Miki Akpablie pitch their team's idea Kadi Energy to the judges Tuesday, April 1, 2014, during the Big Ideas showdown at Colorado College's Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center.Kadi Energy would produce inexpensive, solar-powered mobile phone chargers to sell to Ghanaian mobile phone users. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

GetOutfitted advanced to the Los Angeles competition from a semifinal round in Denver along with companies from semifinal competitions in five other cities and an online competition. The company won the $25,000 first prize in Colorado College's Battle of the Big Ideas competition in 2014. The competition previously was called the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge.

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Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

Twitter @wayneheilman

Facebook Wayne Heilman

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