Localeikki, a Flagstaff-based startup, developed a community-based mobile app and website that helps travelers locate running, hiking and cycling trails around the country complete with ratings, amenity listings and photos. As well, you can simply find a regularly scheduled ride or run in your area.
The unique brand name stems from the “locavore” concept, “loca” meaning local and “leikki” meaning “play” in Finnish—all roads lead to play local. I spoke with CEO Tracy McMillan about her company, the future, and their involvement with the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET).
How did you come up with the concept of Localeikki?
I’m a runner myself and when I travel, trying to get a run in someplace that’s pleasant is always a challenge. I have a background in urban planning and public health and I’ve been very active in the idea of creating, building and promoting healthy communities. The idea that these places exist and they’re hard to find is what spurred me in this direction.
How did you find your co-founder Taylor Thomas?
Taylor and I have known one another for about a year. He’s a cyclist and has worked in the cycling industry for a long time and then they [he and his wife] decided to move out here [to Flagstaff]. I got the business started and things rolling, but it was apparent that I couldn’t do everything. You need somebody who’s willing to make the leap with you because there’s no revenue. You have to find somebody who has the passion for the idea along with you and is willing to put in the grunt work for the hopeful reward in the future and Taylor was willing to do that. We work well together.
Why did you decide on crowdfunding?
The original financing for this project has come from my personal savings or my family’s personal savings; before you take on investors, you really want to be sure that your concept is solid. If you can get a revenue [stream] prior to taking on investors, then maybe you don’t have to make that commitment. Investors are great in terms of the funding, advice and support they can provide, but you’re also sacrificing equity. There may be a time when we feel like we need that to get to the next level.
Tell me about your involvement with NACET.
I came on as a client in November and it’s been good. We have office space and they provide business counseling and access to mentors with different business expertise. It’s also a community of other entrepreneurs you can socialize and exchange ideas with.
How will you expand this product nationwide?
We’re kicking off our Localeikki ambassador program, so we’re recruiting active individuals around the country to come on board as a brand ambassador and add to our database their favorite places to be active in their community or when they’re traveling to other communities. Everybody who is signing up right now gets the beta app. The goal is to go nationwide. We will publicly launch when we feel like we’ve hit a content threshold; by late summer, people will understand the concept, want to get on board and populate the database.
What are you doing to prepare for your launch?
We want to launch the product with a decent sized database and hit marketing and promotions full on. We’ll be going to different events and reaching out to influencers, primarily in the running and cycling community, to continue to spread the word about the product and to get to a decent revenue level. We want to start to make connections within the travel industry. We feel like there could be some potentially good partnerships there. But primarily, we want to get a good product out there.
Watch their promotional video here.
To get involved with Localeikki’s crowdfunding campaign, click here.
Screenshots and logo provided by Localeikki.