Logo credit: Melissa Egan
Wilderness Patrol: A Year Later
What does a former auto mechanic, former international travel agent, and former dishwasher repairman have in common? They all ended up going to 42 and are the brains behind Wilderness Patrol. Wilderness Patrol is a mobile and web app that streamlines mapping and management of issues for parks. They are currently working with seven California State Parks and their volunteer programs. We met up with Elliot Tregoni and Ian Wagner last year and featured Wilderness Patrol in a student project profile. Since then, they added a new team member, Sam Bogar, gone through some beta testing, participated in Y Combinator’s Startup School, and they have a booth this week at Startup Grind. The team sat down with us to share their adventures from this past year and where they hope to be in the future.
Growing the Team
In October, Elliot and Ian welcomed Sam to their team. During high school, Sam was a National Parks volunteer for a month every summer. He also had experience as a tree removal technician. Sam was in the same piscine as Elliot and Ian, and after taking six months off to work at a tech startup, came back to 42 to join their team. Sam shared his experience so far, “It has been good, we have some work coming up on the launch. It has been fun being part of the team, and it has been good working with my friends and getting something real out the door that the world really needs.” When Sam joined the team, the goal was for him to fill in the gaps and pick up slack where it needs to happen. His focus has been on front end development of the mobile application.
Beta Testing the App
The Wilderness Patrol team has gone through a few beta tests with their app. A beta test is when a sample audience tries the product and gives their feedback. Last June the team contacted Jeremy Lin, program coordinator for Wilderness Patrol at Rancho del Oso, and asked him to share the app with a few volunteers to get their take on it. Elliot, Ian, and Sam also asked some 42 students to test the app as well. Ian shared that they have gotten really good feedback and that it was great to see how someone would actually use the app.
Y Combinator’s Startup School
In 2018 Wilderness Patrol participated in Y Combinator’s Startup School. Y Combinator is an American seed accelerator. Startup School is a free 10-week online course that Y Combinator offers for founders who are actively pursuing their own startup. Ian shared, “That was really good. They gave us a lot of good insights on how to focus on the business side of things. Really putting in growth as a team, making sure we work together.”
Elliot added, “The main value of Startup School was working on the pitch. With a save the world project you need to find a way to make a profit.” Although making a “save the world” project profitable is a large task, Wilderness Patrol offers a tool to help parks identify and respond to issues so they can invest in beautifying and restoring the parks. Sam noted that they are hoping to get a statewide contract, but they know they have to start small.
The Official Launch of Wilderness Patrol
On February 24th the team will be rolling out their official launch of the Wilderness Patrol app. They will be teaching the Wilderness Patrol volunteers how to use the app after the full launch. Some of the new features include being able to take photos directly on the app, and they are able to filter, update and edit issues.
Elliot noted that this past year has been about learning how to work as a team, “No matter how long you spend coding stuff on your own, it is a steep learning curve. Everything you thought you knew gets thrown out the window when you start working with a team. You are not only responsible for getting the job done but to get it done in a way that everyone can understand.” Ian concluded, “It has been an amazing year. We have grown from nothing to being a full-fledged company.”
Wilderness Patrol @ Startup Grind Global Conference 2019
Startup Grind is the largest independent startup community with the mission to nurture startup ecosystems. They help connect founders with more than 1,500,000 entrepreneurs in over 500 chapters. The Startup Grind Global Conference is taking place this year, February 12th & 13th, in Redwood City. Ian attended the global conference last year and enjoyed the experience. So this year he decided to apply for a booth and got one. The team sees this as a great opportunity for networking and business experience. Check out the Wilderness Patrol booth on Wednesday, February 13th, in Startup Tent B.
42 wants to thank Startup Grind for giving our students the ability to attend the Global Conference so they can benefit from the learning and networking opportunities as well as show their support for Wilderness Patrol.