GetOutdoors has an ambitious mission to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals by helping them get outdoors, connect with nature and step away from one of the many screens that dominate our daily lives.
The company looks to achieve this by building a customisable recommendation engine for walks, hikes, and runs that allows the user to refine the options to suit their individual needs and preferences.
This recommendation is then delivered by a Slackbot that gives you and your team a friendly nudge to leave the confines of your office and get outside at least once a day. By focusing on the B2B market GetOutdoors is looking to empower staff to get the most out of their breaks and increase the number (and popularity) of walking meetings.
To learn more about GetOutdoors, their GOBot and what led to the initial idea, Startup Soda recently had the opportunity to sit down with founder Elle Pacholski to ask a few questions and learn more about her startup.
For Elle the idea for GetOutdoors was sparked by her arrival in France back in 2013. Before moving to Chamonix Elle noted that she “wasn’t the most active person besides organised sport” and that moving to Chamonix “was a shock to the system”. What Elle found was a culture that was much more adventurous than what she had previously been exposed to.
Instead of watching Netflix or milling around, the people of Chamonix were “constantly pushing themselves above and beyond their limits”. This mindset quickly caught on and soon Elle had purchased an adventure book on the local trails and was spending more time outdoors. What started with snowboarding, led to ski touring, bouldering, rock climbing, hiking, trail running, mountaineering and eventually a career change.
After a year of being exposed to all Chamonix had to offer Elle secured a role with Ten80 Events, a corporate events agency building bespoke, multi-day corporate trips for media agencies coming out of the UK. It was during this time that Elle acted as a guide and support for clients as they pushed their own comfort zones. In particular, Elle noted that she “saw the joy and pride that this created” in the people she was working with.
Fast forward to 2018 and Elle was back in Australia and looking at how she could recreate some of this magic for more people. As Elle noted creating an environment that encourages employees to get outdoors and hold walking meetings is not just a nice thing to do. It has the potential to drive real productivity gains for the organization.
In particular, Elle pointed out that “76% of employees are unengaged at work. And that, unengaged employees cost 34% of their salary”. It has also been shown that “walking for 30 minutes a day increases motivation by 25%”. As a result organisations can unlock some of these benefits for their staff by increasing the motivation (or nudging them) to get outdoors and walk with their team.
Identifying the B2B market as the ideal sector to target was an important milestone for GetOutdoors. The startup is currently taking part in the BlueChilli Xcelerate Program and Elled highlighting that “pivoting our business for the MVP was huge”. The decision to do so came after speaking with potential customers and validating the original B2C model. What Elle found was that they had “to refine it down to a simpler solution for a much more specific target market”.
To help achieve that outcome, Elle said that “the Xcelerate team has been a constant guide through this process to ensure we have an MVP that is easier to build and promote. The mentors in the program have given their time and guidance endlessly. Their support, encouragement and excitement for the things we’re building is a huge factor in our own enthusiasm.”.
Pivoting to a B2B solution has also allowed to a Elle to conduct more targeted interviews with potential users. This has allowed Elle to ensure that GetOutdoors is solving a real need, as well as get a lot of additional support and guidance from business leaders along the way.
To ensure that GetOutdoors didn’t get bogged down in overbuilding the solution or adding unnecessary features Elle utilised the Kando Model. This is something she highly recommends to other startup founders as “it helps to refine down all the things your business could offer to the top three things to start with”. The result is a tighter product experience that solves the core issues of your customers.
Finally, looking to the future Elle noted that the next few months will be focused on growing customers and building partnerships within the various communities that support their mission. Once they have built out the B2B model the plan is to eventually expand into and launch a B2C offering for the wider public.
To learn more about GetOutdoors you can visit their website here.