Fit City Adventures, a corporate lifestyle concierge startup that partners with companies to take team building to a new level, is tapping technology to help medium and large companies stay better connected.
The pivot comes at a time when tourism is at a standstill, as millions of employees are forced to connect and work remotely.
Founded in 2018, the early stage startup partners with businesses in the lifestyle sector to provide innovative team building, engagements and classes.
When the coronavirus hit, Founder and CEO Angela Minardi had to get creative on how to reach clientele.
“We call ourselves a concierge because we’re really a one-stop shop for all of the fun activities and newest wellness options in San Diego. From leisure, active and adventure packages, we have more than 45 partners in fitness, health, wellness and adventures in Southern California,” said Minardi.
The company plans team building itineraries for out-of-towners, corporate staff, and locals using its 45 Southern California business partners to run the events. Activities the company offers ranges from beach bootcamps to sunset hikes to volleyball clinics to kayak trips, among others.
Helping medium and large corporations with more than 50 employees, some of its clients include GoPro, Google, Taco Bell and Van’s.
In San Diego, tourism is among one of the largest industries, with more than $10B spent in the industry each year. The company’s business model started in the hospitality sector which hosts large scale events and the active lifestyle industry which targets the millennial demographic.
Money Well Spent
Recent studies show companies that invest in wellness programs like Fit City Adventures, receive a $3 return on investment for every dollar spent.
“In San Diego, people are looking for wellness and benefit options when they go to work for a company , it’s no longer just about salary,” said Minardi. “Keeping employees productive and connected is a big deal, giving them these types of offerings help foster the overall culture of the company.”
With most of the workforce working from home, employers are seeking creative ways to engage their teams to celebrate their achievements now more than ever.
Jacob Johnson, Director of Clinical Technology Strategy and Planning at Kaiser Permanente became a customer with Fit City Adventures after he sensed the collaborative culture he worked to build was starting to erode due to the distance and fatigue.
“The lines were blurred between home and work, and that created a feeling of being overwhelmed — especially for those in healthcare who support patients. All 40 of my staff were taken out of the office and forced to find new ways to connect and solve problems, and while we were getting the work done, the morale and cohesion was dropping,” said Johnson.
Johnson said Fit City knocked it out of the park. “The energy was high, the content was on point, the technology worked seamlessly and most importantly my team loved it,” he said. “The team presented several options, guided me and answered all my questions to make sure we were set up for success. I can’t wait to work with them again.”
In addition to helping employers, the company has also stepped up as many conferences have shifted to hosting their events virtually.
This month, the team is partnering with local company Dexcom for its annual sales conference for 240 employees and the American Veterinary Medical Association’s 3-day conference which is hosting more than 1400 professionals.
Seeing high demand for its offering, within the first 6 months of operating, the company brought in $60,000 in sales. By 2021, the company projects to reach $3 million in revenues, with expansion plans into the commercial and residential real estate space.
“We have the opportunity to franchise, create partnerships with Airbnb Experiences or work specifically in corporate wellness,” said Minardi. “I’m not entirely set on the model just yet. There are not a ton of big players in the space, so I have the opportunity to take the company what I want and where it makes sense to support our mission of cultivating meaningful human connections while giving back to our community.”
It’s hard to tell what categories will bounce back and what the size of budgets will be a year from now, Minardi said, adding that the company has very little overhead because the team hires additional support based off of the event itself.
To date, the company is operating in all of Southern California including San Diego County, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs. In the near future, Fit City Adventures plans to expand its offering into different cities such as Austin, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, Boston and New York.
The company is also launching a new “virtual health fairs” platform nationwide to support human resource teams and annual enrollment this fall. A 2-person team, the company will hire roughly 8 employees over the next year.
Earlier this year, Fit City Adventures graduated from the San Diego Sports Innovators (SDSI) accelerator program.
Bob Rief, executive director of SDSI said the organization this year had well over 100 candidate companies vie for a spot in its mentoring program.
“None have come up against the COVID crisis like our current cohort,” said Rief. “Angela’s pivot over the last few months has been breathtaking. She is a true entrepreneur with a very rare talent, a blend of awareness, immediacy and friendliness. She and Fit City will emerge from this crisis in a leadership position. We are really proud to have played a role in helping her reach her goals.”