At the end of January WayWiser was selected to be 1 of 10 teams participating in Lightning Lab, a start-up accelerator based in Auckland, New Zealand. At the beginning of March we moved into our new downtown digs and started the 3 month sprint to Demo Day, when we pitch to a room full of investors.
During the first week of the lab, we made an important discovery: as adventure sports and travel grows exponentially in New Zealand, there are fewer independent guides and small owner/operator businesses providing genuine outdoor adventures than ever before.
Why? There are a number of contributing factors. Though tourism is currently on the upswing, the economy has been slow to recover from the recent depression. Professional guides are required to hold a large number of certifications and permits for transporting tourists and accessing Department of Conservation land, which are expensive to apply for and maintain. This, combined with recent legislation passed by WorkSafe NZ, has put enormous pressure on the guide community.
Knowing that, we asked ourselves: How can WayWiser make real adventures more accessible for locals and visitors in New Zealand?
First, we consulted our mission. At the heart of what we do is the simple sentiment: bring more people together over their mutual love of the outdoors. As a founding team composed of expats, athletes and keen travellers, we started WayWiser because we wanted to connect people to genuine adventures instead of the off-the-shelf, and often super expensive, commercial variety.
WayWiser’s new website allows users to connect with likeminded adventurers to find a training parter or adventure buddy. Anyone can create public adventures that members of the community can express interest in. From there you’ll be able to see whether or not fellow adventurers are compatible through their descriptive profiles and rating system.
You can also create a group message for those heading out together, eliminating the confusing (or annoying) text and email chain.Those who prefer to hunt for adventures can search by location, create a shortlist of favourites and finally join trips when you find the perfect fit.
We strive to make it easier to find adventures on your doorstep or at your destination, and to connect you to the people who can take you there.
WayWiser is still a big idea in it’s early stages. Right now our service is only available for climbers, mountain bikers and trail runners. While we build and perfect our service, WayWiser will only be available in Auckland.
We’re happy to hear from you if you think you’re city or adventure sport should be next: firstname.lastname@example.org