May 1 — 3, 2018   |   Golden, CO

THE WRIGHT is an outdoor-inspired industry summit and award program recognizing that unique breed of leader. The kind to bet on instinct and belief rather than conventional wisdom. They are the self-reliant type. Tough to corral. But for three days in May, we’ll gather and celebrate them - their companies, their creations and their communities. We sure hope you’ll join us.


For 2018, The Wright expands into three days of keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops and events intended to foster collaboration, provoke discussion and stoke the fires of outdoor-inspired entrepreneurship.

These events will all be open to the public. Many are free, though some will require tickets. Stay tuned for more information on tickets and registration, coming soon!


Join us each day for an inspiring keynote speaker exploring the theme of bold, principled, collaborative leadership.


Oriented around topics of critical importance to entrepreneurs in the outdoor space, the panel discussions will include subject-matter experts and industry veterans providing their insights and expertise.


Explore our new home in Golden with social events and specials hosted by friends new and old. Get to know the members of The Wright community and see what makes them unique.

Ahead of Award Night, get a first look at the contenders who will be vying for the 2018 prize. Get to know their founders, hear their stories, and explore their products with hands-on demos.


The culminating event of The Wright, Award Night (Thursday, May 3) features the first-time public screening of 90-second videos produced and submitted by each of the contenders. As part of their selection, each company is charged with conveying through video their vision, their mission and their inspiration. The debut of the contender videos is followed by the announcement of three finalists who take the stage together and face a rapid-fire Q&A session from a panel of judges. The judges, in turn, are tasked with selecting the winner and presenting the $5,000 prize. For 2018, Award Night is being hosted in partnership with Colorado School of Mines at Lockridge Arena.

The Contenders

Each year, Something Independent embarks on a mission to assemble the new class of contenders. Twelve contenders for The Wright were selected from more than 125 peer-based nominations of innovative companies from five states in the Rocky Mountain region. In moving toward an expanded regional showcase, The Wright fielded nominations from Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, opening the door for companies from outside of Colorado to be selected as official contenders for The Wright.

The 2018 Contenders

Alpacka Rafts, Mancos, Colo.
Cotopaxi, Salt Lake City, Utah
Green Guru Gear, Boulder, Colo.
Hot Tomato, Fruita, Colo.
Mountain States Snowcats, Torrington, Wyo.
Powderhorn Resort, Mesa, Colo.
Rocky Mountain Underground, Breckenridge, Colo.
SaraBella Fishing, Denver, Colo.
Western Rise, Telluride, Colo.
Weston Snowboards, Minturn/Denver, Colo.
Wood’s High Mountain Distillery, Salida, Colo.
Yeti Cycles, Golden, Colo.

Since its inception in 2010, The Wright has recognized nearly 100 companies, representing 26 towns across Colorado including Voormi of Pagosa Springs, South Main Co and Deerhammer Distilling from Buena Vista, Bonsai Design of Grand Junction, Icelantic Skis and Yeti Cycles from Golden, Big Agnes and Hala Gear from Steamboat Springs, Oskar Blues from Longmont (and Lyons), Rapidgrass Bluegrass Festival in Idaho Springs, Eldorado Climbing Walls in Boulder and Denver-based Flylow Gear and Topo Designs.

"Reflected in The Wright and in the companies it recognizes are the core principles of entrepreneurship and examples of innovation in action," says Werner Kuhr, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Colorado School of Mines. "The Wright presents an exciting opportunity for our students and our greater community to connect with innovative businesses and leaders who emphasize the same work-ethic, problem-solving abilities and collaborative focus valued here at Colorado School of Mines."


New for 2018, The Wright program and Award Night will move from Denver to the heart of downtown Golden, as well as to the campus of Colorado School of Mines.

“Golden was founded over 150 years ago by entrepreneurs with adventurous spirits, and it continues to attract like-minded people today; from miners, brewers, ski and bike manufacturers, to scientists and engineers,” says Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan. “They share a sense of determination, a desire to innovate, and a love for the outdoors. The Wright represents all of these great things, and we are excited to host this unique summit and award program here in Golden, and to join in the discussions and celebrations for our community of outdoor-inspired innovators and entrepreneurs.”


Special thanks to our community partners: