New Boston-based app helps users achieve goals

10/8/2013 – The Huntington News

By Rowena Lindsay, News Correspondent 

Need some motivation to start crossing items off your bucket list? There’s an app for that.

Boston-based start up Achvr, encourages users to try new things by allowing them to create digital lists of things they want to accomplish and rewarding points for achieving them. From visiting foreign countries to trying new foods and reading classic novels, Achvr will give users the boost they need to broaden and work on their bucket list.

“The goal of the app is to try to help people live a happier life through first time experiences,” Ryan Traeger, founder and CEO of Achvr, said. “We want to gamify life.”

Every achievement has a point value. For example, going skydiving is worth 50 points, eating sushi is worth 10 and climbing Mount Everest is worth 1,000. As users rack up points, they can earn badges that signify their accomplishments and qualify them to be placed on a leaderboard.

By connecting to Facebook, the app can set up users with other people in their circle who share the same goals.

“Down the road, you will be able to challenge your friends to do things – that way, if there is something you and a friend both want to do you can challenge each other to see who can do it first, or make a plan to do it together,” Traeger said. “That function is not there yet, but it will be.”

The app not only helps people keep track of the items on their bucket lists, but also associates users with relevant businesses to help achieve goals.

“We connect you with like-minded friends and businesses to eliminate all the guess work out of what you want to do,” Traeger said.

The mobile app does this through a map feature that lets you see things to do in your area and allows you to easily add them to your list. Additionally, the app sends you notifications about deals on the things that you want to do, making it a useful tool for travel planning.

“If you want to go to a new city, you can see things to do in that area so you can plan your itinerary ahead of time, and when you get there, you can have the map just show you the things that are on your list,” Traeger said.

Achvr was founded a little over a year ago, but has been in the works for a while. The core team of creators behind the app are Ryan Traeger, founder and CEO; Steve Ferraro, CFO; Drew Watson, CMO; and Rob Lewis, CTO Lead Developer.

In the past year they have raised $1.25 million, and negotiated affiliated partnerships with companies such as Groupon, Gilt Group, Living Social, iTunes and Expedia.

“The development process has really been about building the platform, finding the money, building the team and then getting deals,” Traeger said.

Although Achvr is still very new, students have already expressed interest in the app.

“I think that it sounds really useful, it would keep me motivated and also organize my goals,” undeclared freshman Katie Pulfer said.

Last weekend, the founders of Achvr held a kick-off event at which they invited the public to join them in completing 72 achievements in 72 hours.

“The kickoff event is a manifestation of our mission statement. We are going to go out there and actually do the things that we say we want to do,” Traeger said.

The events completed in this past weekend’s kickoff included trips to the Top of the Hub, Sam Adams Brewery, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Ra Ra Riot at the House of Blues, the Museum of Fine Arts and a Hubway ride.

“We are also trying to make people aware of the fact that people can do things easily, cheaply, and possibly for free and do it all in one quick weekend,” Traeger said.

Traeger and his team want to help people realize their goals and their dreams.

“Tell us what you want to do, and we’ll help you do it.”