Photos contributed by Adventure Sports Innovation
Patrick and Carolina Molloy are the founders of Adventure Sports Innovation, a business that brings to market the latest inventions and innovations for outdoor experiences, sourced from inventors and manufacturers around the world.
The business is located on River Street in Chattanooga’s North Shore neighborhood, facing Coolidge Park and the gorgeous Tennessee River that runs through downtown Chattanooga. If you head to the river on a weekend, you are likely to see people having the time of their lives riding things you likely haven’t seen before, such as the Kymera E-Jet Bodyboard or the Lift eFoil Surfboard.
Swincar E-Spider Off-Road Vehicle
Before they got into the business of outdoor experiences, Patrick and Carolina were both working in the finance sector in New York City. Patrick’s last position before leaving to start his business was as Director of Product Development for Bank of America. Carolina was a managing consultant for companies in the financial services industry.
In 2017, they decided they wanted a change of scenery and wanted to start an outdoor-centric business. They looked at several cities to move to, and after seeing the rapidly growing outdoor scene in Chattanooga and the tourism that came with it, they decided to make the move here. They arrived in the summer of 2017, where they experienced the city and all it had to offer like tourists themselves. A year later, they went through the CO.STARTERS program at CO.LAB and launched Adventure Sports Innovation.
2019 was a great year for their business. If there was an outdoor event in the area, such as the Ironman, they were there with a booth and it was a great way to attract customers to their business which was readily accessible for those spending their days downtown near the water. The company was also hosting excursions on land too, such as weekly tours at Reflection Riding where people would ride vehicles the company has exclusive rights to sell in the U.S., the Swincar E-Spider Off-Road Vehicle.
Like most businesses across the country, Patrick and Carolina’s plans and hopes for growth in 2020 were disrupted by COVID-19. Trends in outdoor recreation have seen changes in recent months during the crisis. While more people are seeking out hiking and other activities, close to 50% of those doing activities are doing so only miles from their home, according to a study from LNT.org.
For Adventure Sports Innovation, this has become a challenge as more than 70% of last year’s business was from tourists. This year, tourists account for only 25% of their business. Group activities, such as corporate activities, are also significantly down. However, they say they have seen an increase in local participation, with more residents from the area coming to Coolidge Park and trying out for the first time what Adventure Sports Innovation has to offer.
In the meantime, Patrick and Carolina remain resilient in continuing to promote and bring in business. For Patrick, he says he is optimistic that Chattanooga will bounce back, and like many business owners in the region are asking, it is just a matter of when.
You can learn more about Adventure Sports Innovation and sign up for an adventure at https://adventuresportsinnovation.com/.