Only a year ago the climbing industry was at a peak – with the sport gaining more and more popularity and businesses growing exponentially. The air was full of enthusiasm for the bright future of climbing.
The COVID-19 crisis presented an enormous challenge to all members of the community – gym owners and their employees, investors, manufacturers, climbers. Talking to partners from more than 50 countries around the globe, Walltopia witnessed each of them going through a similar set of hardships.
The company, however, never lost its enthusiasm and continued to work on product improvements and to deliver the highest quality to its clients on time.
“Our clients entrusted us with 159 projects in 38 countries on 6 continents during 2020. The number is in fact identical to last year’s, so I have to say, we feel privileged and proud that this trust in Walltopia has come up with results exceeding expectations. We are headed into 2021 stronger than ever,” says Vasil Sharlanov, COO of the Climbing Division of Walltopia.
The Walltopia Elevation Initiative
Now, in the midst of the pandemic crisis, Walltopia is launching an initiative to support new climbing business ideas. Ivaylo Penchev, CEO of Walltopia, explains the company’s way of thinking in a simple manner: “We want to share our strength with the industry’s forward thinkers. Each one of us and our community as a whole will become better only if we evolve through new ideas. We decided to help and facilitate the process by committing to invest $10 MM in an initiative to support new and remarkable climbing business concepts that will pave the road to a new day for the industry.”
Penchev is an optimist: “We are starting this initiative because when we beat the virus (which we will, it’s a matter of time), there will be a rush to reclaim our lives, for people and businesses alike. We expect that those who are better prepared will succeed with a faster, more relevant go-to-market strategy — one that takes into account the shifts happening. So now is the time to elevate and work on new concepts and keep our eyes open for the growth potential.”
How to Apply
The Elevation Initiative is looking for original new concepts that would shift and improve the climbing industry. Applications are accepted via the website and are open for established and experienced companies as well as start-ups able to present a viable business plan.
“What we are going for is identifying the aspiring climbing entrepreneurs, who have plans with a potential to elevate our sport to a new level and develop the world of climbing. We won’t tell them what to do. They’ll manage their business. We will support them,” concludes Penchev.
Тhe Elevation Initiative will work with committed capital of 10 mln. USD and will offer support in different ways: equity participation, design and engineering packages, equipment leasing, and others. To learn more about it, visit elevation.walltopia.com.
Walltopia has designed, engineered, manufactured and installed more than 1800 projects in over 75 countries on 6 continents. With +20 years of experience in manufacturing climbing structures and a team of +600 professionals, Walltopia can take care of any gym project needs, from gym design to assembly, flooring solutions (Climbmat), holds and volumes (Holdtopia), maintenance and inspection.
Walltopia is also the organizer of the World Indoor Climbing Summit (WICS), an event started in 2018 that focuses on the business side of the indoor climbing industry. Seeing a need for a more globally oriented industry gathering, and as a global supplier which communicates with industry leaders worldwide, Walltopia decided to bring the world of climbing into one place, inviting C-level executives from the industry to Sofia, Bulgaria. WICS hosts a conference program featuring topics on the business of indoor climbing that are valuable to gym owners and other industry leaders.