If it’s been a while since you went on a hike, walked around your local park, or smelled the proverbial roses in your own backyard, you aren’t alone.
We live in what has been called the “Indoor Generation,” but a new Atlanta-based app is looking to shift that trend and get more people connected to nature.
Roots provides “approachable ways to connect with nature” for those looking to explore nature-based mindfulness.
Roots is the brainchild of entrepreneur Clint Jarvis, a veteran of the B2C startup space. His goal is to “open up the natural world in a unique way” even if users don’t have time for a day-long hike or an hour-long meditation.
The app includes guided meditations, audio-guided outdoor experiences, and curated soundscapes from across the world. The soundscapes, captured from Emmy-winning acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton (aka The Sound Tracker®), can take you from Belize to Sri Lanka to dozens of natural spaces in between.
The meditations and experiences focus on helping users connect with the natural world and are voiced by Meryl Arnett, an Atlanta-based mindfulness teacher behind The Mindful Minute Podcast.
The goal is to make both the natural world and mindfulness more accessible. The latest version of the app launched last month and almost half of the initial users are people trying out a meditation app for the first time. This, Jarvis says, suggests there is a gap in what bigger meditations apps offer and what users are looking for.
Meet The Team
Jarvis previously founded gottaGolf, a B2C social golf app, which was acquired by Connecticut-based golf technology and media company SwingU in 2017.
He has since helped open Intown Golf Club, a private social club in the heart of Buckhead that has become a go-to retreat for golfers and non-golfers alike.
Jesse is an Atlanta-based designer who is the lead UX designer at Dragon Army. Trong is an iOS developer who lives in South Australia with his wife and young son, who is named after Clint.
Mindfulness doesn’t always square perfectly with the “startup grind,” Jarvis admits, but he started on his own mindfulness journey while scaling gottaGolf. He told Hypepotamus that being in nature brings more balance and creativity to his day, but he quickly realized that the major mindfulness app players missed didn’t create a connection with nature and the outdoor world.
Building a mindfulness-focused app comes with a new set of challenges than what others in the startup space experience. For Jarvis, it is about building “conscious KPIs” and not necessarily all about optimizing for user screentime.
His advice for people just starting to explore mindfulness: start simple. The app offers 5 and 7 sessions for those who wanted to try out nature-based mindfulness between meetings or after a stressful workday.