The innovative SightRun application (app), provides navigation directions and an interesting ”story” about the destination the runner is in via audio, and it’s currently available in as many as eleven cities.
As Poslovni Dnevnik/Native tim VL i PD writes on the 30th of August, 2019, everyone in love with running has some new challenges and added value in front of them with this healthy activity, thanks to the SightRun app. It was developed as part of the Startup Factory competition, and today, the app successfully brings together all lovers of this activity. Sandra Bortek, the founder of the initial idea and recreation enthusiast, reveals more.
How did you come up with the idea for developing such an application, are there any passionate runners on the SightRun team?
The idea came from our project Run Zagreb, which offers running tours of the City of Zagreb. We were all fans of running so we put together something we loved and tried to make it a project. When the 2016 Startup Factory Contest opened, we thought about what we’d enter with, and then it dawned on us; why would our racing tours not be available, even when our guides aren’t? And so the idea of an audio racing guide was born.
Describe briefly what makes SightRun specific…
SightRun is an application that allows the runner to tour the city without thinking about which route to run and what to see. The application also provides navigation instructions during the run, as well as interesting stories about the destination in which you’re running, and the attractions that you’ll pass.
Once a person puts their headphones in their ears, they no longer have to look at their mobile phone, and that’s where they get the full experience of running in a new destination without the fear of getting lost or having to constantly look at a map and worry about what to do next. All of our tours are well-tested out, the content is tailored to the runner and the destination, and we record the audio content ourselves to give you the feeling of running with a local. And what’s important is that there is no need to rush with SightRun, because the application tracks the pace of the runner, so you can walk if you want.
What has the feedback from the market about your idea been like, are there any people who need that much added value in order to decide to run?
Anyone who has tried the app out is delighted with the idea itself and in fact, the users’ expectations are exceeded. The challenge is to introduce it to the sightrunning market, because it’s one new niche for running. The app is designed for the use of runners who find themselves in a new destination, in order for them to know where to go and run around that destination. We’re addressing runners, those who already enjoy this activity, and we’re not like other running track applications. SightRun is a tourist product and it adds value to both the runner and to the destination itself.
The application has this pronounced tourist component, do tourists contact you when they come, and is the tour limited to Zagreb only? If so, are you planning on expanding to other cities, and if not, where else are you available?
SightRun is a tourist product, designed for foreign guests who don’t miss out on their training even when they’re on the road. We save them the time of not having to go and find the best route for running or trying to figure out what’s worth seeing and what isn’t in a destination. The SightRun application combines running and sightseeing.
It’s possible to run with SightRun in eleven cities today: Zagreb, Opatija, Pula, Rovinj, Poreč, Split, Šibenik, Omiš, Hvar in Croatia, and abroad, in Munich (Germany) and Graz (Austria). We already have eight new destinations planned, five of which will be launched by the end of the year. Along with the new destinations, we want to popularise continental destinations in Croatia as well.
How many languages are available?
The application is entirely in English, while all tours are always done in English and Croatian, and in agreement with partners, we do tours in other languages. In Rovinj, for example, tours are available in both German and Italian.
You developed the idea as part of the Startup Factory competition, what did that experience mean for you and the team?
The experience is invaluable.
On the one hand, it helped us launch our startup, go through all the phases with our project, and maybe try things we might not have done before. Each of us on the team has many years of experience behind us, each in his own field, but I believe that in some ways, Startup Factory has also helped us in our personal development. There is also networking, meeting new people, socialising, workshops and conferences… I often say that there’s no school that can replace this kind of experience, and I really think that everyone should at least try and not just say that something cannot be done without even trying.