The idea behind cityHUNT was inspired in the fall of 2000, when Ben Hoffman found his way onto one of the teams doing a scavenger hunt birthday– pub tour at NYU. After experiencing the excitement, spontaneity and joy a scavenger hunt brings he knew what he had to do…
A few hours later, two NYU students, Ben Hoffman and Jaymes Dec decided to start a company striving to change the lives of others through the experience of a scavenger hunt. Thus, cityHUNT was born. Jaymes’ mom kindly gave cityHUNT their initial start up money of $300 so that they could purchase polaroid cameras to use on the hunts. They started custom building scavenger hunts for people and learning as much as they could about the big apple to incorporate into their games. It didn’t take long for companies to catch onto the benefits of team building a scavenger hunt has to offer. cityHUNT was even hired to do a hunt in Shanghai in their early days!
In the early 2000’s, they made the upgrade to digital cameras and continued to grow their business. They were continuing to expand into more and more cities when in the mid 2000’s they were featured in the Wall Street Journal and some other big publications. This good press greatly helped with their advancement, and before they knew it, they were getting more and more business!
From the humble beginnings of working in Jaymes’ grandmother’s apartment in Queens as a hobby while finishing up school, cityHUNT has grown into the company we know today. cityHUNT grew as it gained traction with companies who began looking for new and innovative ideas to strengthen their teams. By 2005, cityHUNT had obtained an Office on Madison Avenue, grown from 2 employees to include adventure guides, and achieved a list of fortune 500 clients.
Meanwhile, Ben started to speak at conferences around the country about gamification and the positive psychology it can bring to a work environment. cityHUNT’s mission became to impact 1 million people by creating a better work environment. His passion lies in helping people create relationships at work which will lead to more productivity and job satisfaction.
In 2010, the almighty iPhone came out and changed everything! cityHUNT was then able to create their own scavenger hunt app and do away with digital cameras which allowed for them to expand nationally and internationally. No more transporting digital cameras from city to city, people could use the app right from their own phones. This revolutionized the scavenger hunts for good.
cityHUNT continues to evolve. We are currently in over 250 cities and continue to add more all the time. Ben has also become involved in violence interventions and in providing the cityHUNT app for free to schools and non-profit organizations. He is a strong advocate of ‘no company being left behind’ if they are in need of help with team building. In 2017, cityHUNT was named client’s choice Team Building Company of the Year. That caused business to double. We are now also offering our latest innovation called Go City Go which is an on demand scavenger hunt. This is great for tourists or for whoever might want to have a spontaneous scavenger hunt with friends, family or coworkers.
- Dull, monotonous work environments with less than satisfactory employee relations.
- High stress work environments
- Boring, ineffective team building exercises
Get employees out of their typical work environment and doing something active. Create an environment that is free of pressure and stress where a team can focus and have fun. Team members need to engage in activities outside of their normal work responsibilities to be able to bond, laugh and blow off steam. This allows them to create positive memories together and actually enjoy each others presence. Some activities work better than others for this..for example, we happen to prefer and recommend scavenger hunts.
- Change the world one scavenger hunt at a time
- Provide our clients with stronger, more meaningful relationships
- Prove to employees that team building activities are worth while
- Improve communication, functionality and quality of teams
- Boost energy and morale levels
We don’t know what the future holds. What we do know is that we will continue to strive to provide outstanding scavenger hunts and service to our clients. We also want to add an out-of-this-world scavenger hunt (literally) to our list of offerings in the next few years! We hope to change 1 million lives a year through creating better relationships.