iTREKKERS – A Postmortem

Today, after more than three years, iTREKKERS will close our doors. We share this news with heavy hearts. Our close-knit team has worked tirelessly to help newcomers to the outdoors make new memories and feel motivated to spend more time outside.

Our passionate and talented team poured everything we could into this project. We feel that we have tested every traction channel and pursued every strategy we could in our effort to make iTREKKERS a success. We are all proud of the work that we have accomplished.

We introduced outdoor adventure to almost 4,500 people.

We helped thousands of people learn to hike, camp, fish, scallop, swim, explore, stand up paddle, and kayak. We helped families, friends, co-workers and community groups become passionate about the outdoors.

Our customers loved what we did, who we were and what we stood for. We are proud to have helped in the creation of memories, skills, and passion. We are proud of having created a connection between people and the outdoors.

We hit many milestones, scored several rounds of investment capital, grew our team and our network of guides, and drummed up significant interest in the product. We also made errors that cost us in time, resources and money throughout the journey.

In the end, we saw smoke. But there were greater forces at play that prevented us from achieving what we wanted to achieve.

We began as a tech startup designed to connect outdoor newcomers to the outdoors. We realized — too late — that our platform was becoming a third party booking service and the cost of acquisition continued to be too high, draining our cash. Moreover, it took us too long to understand the emotional blocker that was keeping people from getting outdoors on our charters.

With this newfound knowledge in hand, we achieved a sharp pivot to a promising new lessons-based model in a matter of two weeks. Our team created a new business plan and an “outdoor university,” where low-cost lessons came with all equipment and an instructor. We developed a growing community of outdoors enthusiasts and saw the number of attendees rise month over month.

Ultimately, it wasn’t enough. We pivoted too late. The best fit for our market is a lifestyle business for a potential franchise; scaling would have been difficult at best. We just were not going to be profitable on our projected path forward.

Nevertheless, we celebrate everything that we have achieved.

We strongly believe in our mission and see the need for a company to continue doing what we have been doing. We still believe that teaching people outdoor skills to get them to connect with nature is an amazing concept. We were all, and all remain, passionate about the mission we set out to accomplish. We still hope to see people go outside and explore nature. We still want to encourage others to care about the environment and preserving it for our children.

Most importantly, we thank you for making it possible.

We thank you, our customers, who joined us for camping overnights and fishing tournaments and paddleboard classes. We thank you, our community, who shared our social media posts and “liked” our photos and helped us spread the word about gettng outside. We thank you, our team and their family members, who have worked day and night toward a common goal and whose lives have now been reshaped by a deeper appreciation of nature.

We thank you, our investors and our board, for your guidance, good faith, and generosity in helping us reach many milestones along the way. We thank you, our friends in the media world, including Chad Crawford and How To Do Florida, for your kindness and understanding. We thank you, each and every guide who helped our customers make new memories outside along the way. We thank you, the Tampa Bay tech community and Tampa Bay Wave, for your support of and belief in our goals.

Lastly, we thank you, the Tampa Bay community as a whole, for allowing us to take this journey in our beautiful city. We have enjoyed every minute.

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