Startups

The summer of the scavenger hunt

It is not lost on us that Scavenger Hunt with Friends — a new mobile application developed by a group of Ocean City, New Jersey buddies — is the second app from the region that hopes to entertain users with the classic game. Or is it the third? SCVNGR, a DreamIt grad, has grown into […]

It is not lost on us that Scavenger Hunt with Friends — a new mobile application developed by a group of Ocean City, New Jersey buddies — is the second app from the region that hopes to entertain users with the classic game.
Or is it the third?
SCVNGR, a DreamIt grad, has grown into Groupon-esque deals provider and opened an office here in Philly after raising $4 million in funding. Users can check-in to retail outlets and receive increasingly better deals each time that they do.
And only a few weeks after Scavenger Hunt with Friends issued a press release about its app, Stray Boots, a New York-based company recently launched its “Scavenger Hunt: A Tour,” app in Philadelphia.
Focus on Scavenger Hunt With Friends, made by a company that’s still headquartered locally, and as it turns out, has ties to a former Philadelphia mayor.

In May, more than 100 people downloaded the app on their iPhone or Android devices and were put to the challenge.
Users were asked to complete tasks, like sticking ping pong balls in their mouths, or dressing up like a medieval knight and fighting the dragon statue on Drexel’s campus. The winner, then, totaled 640 points after completing about 20 tasks, with each ranging in points from about 10 to 100. A Drexel University student — students are the app’s target demographic — won tickets to see artist Kid Cudi in early July, after dressing up in tinfoil and “fighting” the dragon in a photo.
“Most of the stuff has a bit of a comedic aspect,” says Jesse Rendell. “The goal is to produce funny pictures, get people out there having a good time.”
The University City hunt was the first of many to help promote the app. Starting this week, the application’s second local promotional hunt has kicked off, and the winner will be decided on July 4.
Using the app, users can create their own hunts or borrow ideas from a database of a couple thousand items that the team came up with on their own. It doesn’t hurt that the team has been friends since childhood, having grown up on the same block in Ocean City, New Jersey, together.
The software’s developer Jamie Moran and a second partner, Steve Pjura, who have been tackling web design for a few years, brought on Rendell to do marketing, promotions and business development, and named their company Asbury Mobile.
And yes, it is that Rendell. Jesse works with the team when he’s not working out of his dad’s office, the former Governor of Pennsylvania, at the Bellevue.
What sets Scavenger Hunt with Friends apart?
The team says that it’s staying focused on its individual users and their photo submissions, as opposed to creating business promotions. “Ours’ is photo-based, getting funny photos of people interacting with their surroundings,” Rendell says.
Though the team is talking to local organizations about creating custom scavenger hunts for marketing purposes, the company says that monetization is in the downloads of the premium application, which currently costs $0.99.
“Once we get our feet wet here, it’s about moving geographically and doing hunts based on other places,” Rendell says.
It’s an idea being tested by a handful of companies, but success will only surround the one that stands out.

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