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This Launchpad For Outdoor Activewear Practices What It Preaches The C21 Accelerator in California works proactively with companies that promote active lifestyles.

By Michelle Goodman

This story appears in the September 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Tony Drockton
Getting active: C21 Accelerator in Hermosa Beach, Calif.

Check out other industries that are benefiting from launchpads here.

Rather than start a traditional VC fund, in February five veterans of leading outdoor and athletic clothing brands created C21 Accelerator, a long-term residency in Hermosa Beach, Calif., for startups developing sustainable outdoor products that promote an active lifestyle. In addition to hands-on, personalized guidance from the C21 team, startups get $50,000 to $500,000 in equity investments, with totals and term sheets determined on a case-by-case basis.

"We're really not interested in deals where we just throw money at somebody and come back six months or a year later and say, "How did you do?'" says Casey Sheahan, former CEO of Patagonia, noting that the C21 team has 120 collective years of experience in outdoor apparel. "We want to be directly involved in hatching these businesses."

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