Many startups find themselves confronted with an interesting conundrum when developing their product. Somewhere along the journey, they discover a different problem that needs a solution. Do they stick to their plan, or do they pivot?

Actively co-founders Anastasia Martynovitch and Brandon Chow found themselves facing the pivot question. Their initial product helped teams sign up and pay for sports, mainly badminton. It was a defined market and they had paying customers. As they spoke with their customers, they found a common thread. “We learned that people like going to tournaments and sports for socializing. They loved seeing the same crowd, connecting with the coaches,” said Martynovitch. “It was something fun that wasn’t just going to a restaurant.”

This new insight lead the duo back to the drawing board and that’s where they came up with the idea for Actively. “It’s connecting people over experiences, connecting people to experiences. They can bond in a new way,” added Martynovitch. Martynovitch and Chow were joined by Nathan Woltman in November of last year and the team is currently based in the Laurier Launchpad space located at the Communitech Hub.

Actively helps people discover amazing experiences to do as a group. These aren’t your run of the mill activities. Actively focuses on discovering local, unique activities and offering those experiences to groups of people. It could be your department at work looking for a team building activity or something new to do for a girl’s night out.

While they were developing their platform, the Actively team created a series of meetup events that brought strangers together. The meetups brought groups out to try the trampolines at Sky Zone, bubble soccer, archery tag with The Clever Archer, and painting and board game night at Games on Tap Board Game Café.

These meetups helped the Actively team learn that people have a great time at these local events, but the problem for the participants was they were hard to find. Local businesses offer amazing experiences that you don’t know about. “There are florists who offer arranging classes, chefs who want to teach” added Martynovitch. “People love what they do, they love the area and they want to share their passion.”

Actively also helps local businesses rediscover and rekindle experiences that they used to offer. One example Martynovitch shared was a local tea shop owner who had organized tea samplings and pairings. The shop owner had tapped out her customer base and didn’t know how to reach a new audience. Listing the experience on Actively is helping connect the store with a new audience who are looking for an event to bond over.

You can discover local experiences for your group, or list your experiences if you’re a business, at

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We all may be staying inside to avoide the cold, but I see and hear that … The Present mediation studio (92 King St. S, 2nd floor, Unit 200) in Uptown Waterloo has a family movie viewing event this Saturday, Feb. 11. Open Sesame (220 King St W, Kitchener) has music and comedy on the calendar this week. On Thursday, Feb. 9, come celebrate the release of Kaleb Mudrik’s first EP Give Me The Moon. Doors open at 7:30 pm, $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Natalia Valencia will also be performing. Head back in on Friday, Feb. 10 for LOL in February featuring Jess Beaulieu, Natalie Norman and Mirali Almaula. Rhapsody Barrel Bar (179 King St W, Kitchener) has Pretzel Logic, a tribute to Steely Dan on Friday, Feb. 10.  $15 in advance, $20 at the door.




About The Author

Alex Kinsella
Digital Community Manager

Alex Kinsella is Communitech's Digital Community Manager. Part of the tech scene in Waterloo Region since 2004, Alex has worked at GBG, BlackBerry, and Thalmic Labs.