Advntur Sets Out to Build Online Sharing Community for Athletes

Is there room for another Web company based on the “sharing economy” business model?

Entrepreneur Matt Doran thinks so. Doran is the founder of Advntur, a San Diego startup launched in January to help athletes and sports enthusiasts connect with like-minded people elsewhere who are willing to give them a place to stay, share their gear, or perhaps even serve as a guide or training partner.

Traveling users start by registering as “explorers” and choosing a sport and location. Want to go skiing in Telluride, CO? Golfing in Myrtle Beach, SC? Sailing on Lake Monona in Madison, WI? Once users make a selection, they can search Advntur to find a host in a particular place who shares the same interests.

Hosts likewise register as “natives” and create their own account profiles. Each profile describes the kind of lodging, equipment, and service they can provide, and the price for each. Hosts also list the sports they are most passionate about, and describe their ability level.

The website needs more users. When I searched for “hiking” in “Denver, CO,” (pretty basic, right?), I got a message saying, “There don’t seem to be any Natives here to share an adventure with you… yet.”

Doran answered a few questions about his venture by e-mail, which have been condensed and edited below:

Xconomy: What were you doing before you started Advntur, and what made you think it would work?

Matt Doran: I was in the marketing department at Vigor Systems, a small tech firm in La Jolla. I knew there was a need for it from having spoken to many athletes, and I knew I could succeed.

X: Who else is involved?

MD: I am the CEO, and Dave Kennedy is my partner and CTO. We have one employee who is also on the development team and we have a few part-time employees. We have a board of directors, and I have a few advisors on whom I rely.

X: How have you funded your operations so far?

MD: To date, we have raised $260,000 through personal connections, and we are looking to raise an additional $240,000 to close out the Seed Round.

X: How are you going to make money?

MD: Advntur profits by taking 15 percent of each transaction. For example, if a host charges $100 to borrow his surf board for … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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