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MSU alumnus develops mobile app for exploring outdoors

July 22, 2015
<p>Jake Santangelo</p>

Jake Santangelo

While stuck inside during the fall and winter months, many people dream of summer when they can finally go outside and have time for fun. But when summer actually comes people find themselves spending a lot of time bored because they don’t know what there is to do. 

The app Adventurate was created with the hope to remedy indecisiveness by showing outdoor activities within the immediate area.

Jake Santangelo, an MSU alumnus, got the idea for the Adventurate app after going on vacation and realizing how hard it was to find something to do. 

Adventurate allows the user to find activities going on based on their location, as well as letting them pay for it from the app. 

The current locations the app has events in are Lansing, Holland, Grand Haven, Traverse City, Detroit and Grand Rapids, and currently there is one business participating in each city.

Some of the events (called “adventures” in the app) they have are bike trips, running, kayak rentals and trips, paddle board rentals and trips, canoeing trips, tours and paintball. The prices on the app are set at a discount and usually range from $1 to $5 off with the biggest discount being $25 off.

The adventures available in the East Lansing area are offered by River Town Adventures and include kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding down the Grand River in downtown Lansing.

Santangelo had no problem convincing companies to join the app despite its relative newness.

“I told them about the idea, showed them early demos about the app and companies really liked the idea. They thought it was innovative,” Santangelo said. “I’m actually really surprised that something like this hasn’t been around longer.”

While at MSU, Santangelo studied political science and the skills he learned there helped him when working on the app.

“Well, I actually came from a background in political science, so I was focused on public service and a lot of what you work on in public service is kind of ‘connect with people and understand them,’” said Santangelo. “What my experience at MSU really helped the company out with is really being able to understand what people want and try to work for it and to make it an awesome experience.”

The app is still limited in both area and number of events offered, but Santangelo hopes to expand it.

“I want to add things like skydiving. I would like to see a lot of outdoor adventures, but also some indoor things — rock climbing, for example — and also for things that aren’t really as much physical, things like museums and different centers.”


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