Discover New Adventures with this NYC Startup




Traveling always looks like a spontaneous party that happens to work out perfectly when in reality, there are hours and hours of necessary planning that goes into every little detail. Despite this, few efforts have been made to making your trip planning and discovery simple. With Grown Ocean you create, plan and conquer your way through your bucket list and when you’re done, you share your adventure and make everyone jealous. If you have a need to explore, this app is for you.

We chatted with cofounders Sarah-Jayne and Michael about how their own frustrations started the company.

Tell us about the product or service.

Grown Ocean is creating the center of the global adventure community.  Our app gives our users the tools to create their adventure bucket lists and plan the details of their outdoor adventures (hiking, surfing, skiing, snowboarding, mountain climbing, etc…).

How is it different?

Grown Ocean is the only native tool that captures all of the relevant details in planning an adventure.  We are currently working on expanding the platform to include social feature sets as well as a carefully curated feed of adventure discovery options.

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

We are building our product for the rapidly growing global adventure market.  According to a joint study conducted by George Washington University and the Adventure Travel Trade Association in 2013, the value global adventure market is $263 billion with an annualized increase of 65% since 2009.  Just here in the US, outdoorfoundation.org reports that Americans participated in over 191 million adventures in 2013.

What is the business model?

We’ll feel more comfortable talking about the business model details after we launch V2.

What inspired the business?

The idea for Grown Ocean came from our Co-Founder, Michael, trying to solve a problem in his own life.  As an active adventurer, no native platform existed for him to plan and organize the many adventures in his bucket list, so along with Sarah-Jayne, he decided to create it.

Could something like this be easily replicated by a larger organization like TripAdvisor?

Grown Ocean is in the best position to scale our solution because we are solving a problem that is pervasive throughout the adventure community and our platform is native to that market. As active adventurers ourselves, we are deeply engrained in this community, the problem and the solution.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?

Within the next six months, we plan to roll out version 2 for iOS and version 1 for Android.  We are also expanding our community of users and our partner brands.

What is the piece of startup advice that you never got?

No one wants to see how the sausages are made.  We wish we had known that beforehand.

If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community, who would it be and why?

We would love to sit down and talk to Ted Janulis who is the president of the Explorers Club.  We would love to get the advice of Mr. Janulis on our product and direction.

Why did you launch in New York?

We find the New York startup culture to be incredibly collaborative and we have learned so much from this growing community of builders.

Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after work drink?

Because Sarah-Jayne is form Ireland, she will only allow us to go to Rattle n Hum.

About the author: AlleyWatch

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