Enterprise Coworking Community Spotlight: Alice Bodnar, FarOut

November is all about the FarOut team! Diana chats with Alice Bodnar, COO and General Counsel of FarOut about their world-class trail guides. FarOut provides the #1 navigational app for the best long-distance trails in the world. Not only do they provide (over 150!) excellent guides for long-distance hikers, but they also provide for bike hikers and now paddlers!
Hike on over to their website at faroutguides.com to learn all about it.


Diana: [00:00:03] Hello, hello! Welcome to another community spotlight featuring one of our favorite members of Enterprise Coworking, Alice Bodnar. Alice is COO and General Counsel of FarOut. She is here to tell us about her company and what their awesome team does. Hey, Alice, tell us a little bit about FarOut and what your team does.

Alice: [00:00:24] Diana, thanks for inviting me to this. We're really excited to be here. Yeah, so like you said, my company is far out and we create mobile apps and also a web app for long-distance backpackers and bike packers, and now paddlers. So if you're going to go to the Colorado Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, or the Appalachian Trail really long trails like that, we have a detailed guide for hikers and now we're now expanding to long-distance bike hiking guides, too.

Diana: [00:01:01] How long has FarOut been in business?

Alice: [00:01:04] So we actually put our first APP out in 2012 and back then it was called GutHooks Guides to the Pacific Crest Trail. That was our very first guide. Our co-founders, Paul Bodner and Ryan Lynn, met each other while they were hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, and that's when iPhones are kind of a new thing, and they had just started letting people submit apps to the App Store. So they came up with this idea of like, Hey, why don't we create an app for this? Because Paul, who's our CEO, was already like writing a book like the old fashioned book. So he collected the data the whole way up, so he had the data. And two years later, they produced their first app, and since then we've just been adding more and more trails. We didn't know if we'd really take off or not, but people just kept asking for more trails. And now, today we're super popular along long trails all over the world. We have over 150 guides.

Diana: [00:01:59] That is so awesome and so incredible. Incredibly helpful for long-distance hikers. Personally, I've never done a long-distance hike before, but your app and trail map are essential, I would imagine.

Alice: [00:02:16] Yeah. So if you're out there for a really long time, obviously you can't quite carry all your water with you for like a week, so you have to get water as you go. So like our app tells you, where is water? And people can leave comments and say, Hey, this creek is flowing or this creek is not flowing. So then, you know, ahead of time, like how much water you need to carry because those comments are uploaded in real-time as long as you have internet. And so also like it keeps you on the trail, you're like literally looking at a map on your phone and you can see if you're on the trail line. So if you go off the trail line, you can just walk back toward the line so you won't get lost. The same deal can get to a junction. You know which way to go if it's not marked.

Diana: [00:02:55] Oh, that's perfect. You're really supporting the hiker community with that, too.

Alice: [00:03:01] Yeah, we're all hikers ourselves, which is kind of like makes it more fun, like the hiker communities like really nice and chill. 

Diana: [00:03:10] What makes FarOut different from other apps or companies in your same field?

Alice: [00:03:16] So I wouldn't say that we're completely unique because there are other apps there's like Gaia GPS. A lot of people have heard of all trails. Those are more for like day hikes, though, or maybe for a weekend hike. We're more set up for the long-distance hiker or biker who is going to get out there and needs to know where all the resources are. So like, let's say you take all trails out, it has an awesome set of maps. I mean, I use all trails, but it's not going to tell you where creeks are. It's not going to tell you like, I mean, if you're a long-distance hiker, you have to know how to get into town so you can go get groceries. So that's where our unique proposition is, is that we're tailored specifically to long-distance adventurers.

Diana: [00:03:59] Perfect. So switching around here, why did your team choose enterprise coworking as your community or co-working home?

Alice: [00:04:11] So we moved here to Denver in April 2020. We were in Flagstaff, Arizona, and we just needed it, like we were growing. And so we just needed to hire people, so we knew we needed to move to Denver. And one of our employees, Natalie McMillan, had moved to Denver about nine months earlier, and she went to all the co-working spaces. She knew them all. And we know we wanted to be in a co-working space. So in the beginning, she's like, OK, you're just going to want to be here at enterprise, but I'm going to show you like these 10 other places. So she showed us 10 other places and we didn't end up there. It was just like, We love the vibe, like the spaces, nice the conference rooms. I mean, the kitchen. It's just a fun place. And like people such as yourself, Diana, just awesome support and it has a café. So yeah, all. There are so many things and we're so happy to be here. We love it.

Diana: [00:05:02] Oh, I'm so happy you've been with us and it's awesome to work with you and also for you as well. And thank you, Natalie! Great job.

Diana: [00:05:14] All right. So speaking directly to our viewers, what would you like them to know about FarOut?

Alice: [00:05:20] Well, I'd like you to know that if you are interested in long-distance hiking or bike packing or paddling, you know, check us out at faroutguides.com. We are all hikers and bikers ourselves, so we understand our customers very well. Very small. We're about seven people now and we care about our niche is creating the very best, highest quality data so that you don't get lost out there.

Diana: [00:05:50] Absolutely. And I'd say if one of you watching this is an enterprise member, stop by their office on the lower level. Check out their beautiful logo on their office window. It's awesome and the team is just so friendly, so I'm sure they'd be happy if you stop by.

Alice: [00:06:09] Yeah, come visit this any time. It's kind of hard to miss this with our big, FarOut logo in the window.

Diana: [00:06:15] All right. Well, thank you so much, Alice. We're very excited to see your team grow with us, and we are just so excited about your new rebrand. I know you guys all worked so hard the last couple of months, and everything just looks incredible. If you would like to connect with the FarOut team, you can reach them at faroutguides.com Or email them at hello@faroutguides.com. So thank you so much for tuning in and see you all next time.

Alice: [00:06:41] Bye-bye.