Every year, about half the U.S. population participates in an activity outdoors and about 20% of the population is active outdoors twice a week or more. The most popular outdoor activities are running (52 million participants annually), fishing (47 million), biking (46 million) and hiking (42 million). That outdoor activity generates an enormous industry of gear and services which gathers twice a year for the Outdoor Retail trade show. That show will happen next week in Denver and on the day before it opens there is a competition among startups called Pitchfest in which seven women-founded companies are selected from a group of more than 60 applicants to compete by presenting their new businesses to a panel of outdoor industry experts. The companies in the final competition this Sunday are what outdoor industry leaders think are the most interesting new ideas from the larger group of startups. I spoke with the finalists and got a preview of what those outdoor industry leaders think is new and interesting. Read more at Forbes.