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Pensole Footwear Design Academy

Startups Innovate in Athletic and Outdoor Apparel Sector

Portland is synonymous with big global brands in the athletic and outdoor apparel world given that Nike, Adidas America, and Columbia Sportswear are headquartered in the area. While they’re the largest and most prominent, smaller startup firms have developed new technologies and methods to help push the industry forward.

The CEOs of three such firms, including Embodee’s André Wolper, discussed their progress and challenges as part of a panel at the Portland Athletic and Outdoor Industry’s third annual celebration. The group, an initiative of the Portland Development Commission, strives to nurture this fast-growing sector that numbers some 800 companies with 14,000 employees throughout Oregon.