“We’ve found more of a home.”
That’s what Jacki Wilson, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Upventur had to say about the company’s relocation from Frisco to Denton. Wilson says that Denton has been welcoming and that she appreciates the great energy and vibe that Denton offers.
The tech company relocated from Frisco to Stoke, the city owned co-working space in downtown Denton, earlier this year. Read on to find out how things have been going for them since launching their platform last month!
Upventur is a social media platform designed to connect outdoor enthusiasts to trusted experts and outdoor service providers. Information is included on various outdoor activity destinations, including details such as dog-friendliness, the best time of year to visit, what sorts of fees or permits are required, and topographical maps if they’re available. Upventur also features articles written by experts in a particular region or activity, as well as links to relevant service providers. For example, if a user expresses interest in skiing, they might see links to mountain guides and ski instructors.
A wide variety of destinations and activities are featured, from extended camping trips in the Pacific Northwest to hiking at Ray Roberts Lake State Park. The goal is to connect outdoor enthusiasts in an authentic way, which for Wilson, means that connection is driven by the users themselves, rather than by brands. Although Upventur is happy to work with brands, the goal is for people to share their experiences that doesn’t involve the sponsorship of, say, an energy drink. Wilson, an avid hiker and cyclist herself, believes that this approach aligns with the way a community like Denton prefers to operate.
Upventur has recently gone live after extensive beta testing. As is often the case with beta testing, it was an eye-opening experience for the company and revealed potential growth opportunities, as well as areas that the users placed higher importance on than the company had originally thought.
The beta testing was conducted among UNT and TWU students. part of the reason Upventur moved to Denton was to tap into the talent pool that Denton’s universities offer. One way the company taps into this talent pool is by hiring students as interns, including UNT senior Radu Jitariu, who is working as a communications intern.
However, Upventur’s interest in Denton extends beyond the universities. Wilson and her co-founder, Craig Pettigrew, are also interested in connecting with Denton’s growing startup and entrepreneur community. Wilson said that often prospective founders have great ideas for products but are less clear on how to turn those ideas into reliable business, and she believes that she and Pettigrew can provide useful guidance in that area.
Although Wilson and Pettigrew have been focused on launching their product, they look forward to growing their network and interacting more with local entrepreneurs in the near future. Currently, the company is based at Stoke, but in the next few months employees will move to a different suite in the same building. The company is open to hiring passionate outdoor enthusiasts with skills in areas like development and social media.