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City-wide treasure hunt has global ambitions

Charlie Kowszun and Andrew Kinny

Charlie Kowszun and Andrew Kinny

Press release issued: 3 October 2013

Bristol will be the first city in the world to host a large-scale treasure hunt where participants use their smartphones to unlock clues and race to secure the prize fund. Race for Bristol is an innovative concept thought up by University of Bristol student Andrew Kinny, who ultimately plans to expand the event globally if it proves successful.

Race for Bristol is an innovative concept thought up by University of Bristol student Andrew Kinny, who ultimately plans to expand the event globally if it proves successful.

Up to 400 people are expected to take part in the next Race for Bristol, which is being held on 19 October and starts at College Green where entrants can access the first clue via a special app from 2pm. The clues will take them to various locations where they will find codes to unlock the next clue.

The winner will be the team who solves all clues first. At 4.30pm, all teams will gather at the Big Chill Bar to find out who has won the £500 jackpot. There will also be prizes for second and third place, as well other categories like best team photo and best team costume.

Andrew, a 3rd year Economics student, has set-up his own company, Treasure Hunters, to run the events with friend Charlie Kowszun, who is an Economics student at Bath University. They’re being supported by Basecamp - Bristol University’s dedicated student start-up space.

The pair are good friends from school and have recruited the skills of Andrew’s dad Warren, who’s a computer programmer, to help develop the smartphone app, which acts as a platform for participants to navigate a predetermined route similar in style to The Amazing Race – a US reality television game show in which teams of two people race around the world to solve clues.

A pilot treasure hunt was held in March, with 50 participants, to help the organisers prepare for the full-scale event on 19 October.

Andrew said: “The idea came about through a desire to start a business and a vision to create something that brings together large numbers of people to do something exciting and social, something like the Redbull Air Race.

“We also noticed that students and often people in general are so caught up in their day to day activities that they fail to even identify some of the incredible and interesting places and sights in major cities. Some may even walk past them every day and not give them a second thought.

“Our grand vision is huge scale smartphone-based treasure hunts around major global cities for prizes of £100,000. But we need to build-up our knowledge, experience and funding first and Bristol’s the ideal city to trial the idea.”

It costs £7.50 to take part and contestants must register online in advance, before gathering at the Race for Bristol gazebo on College Green to collect their goodie bags - including a t-shirt, map, pen, pad, food and wristband - before the race starts.

For further information and to register, visit www.raceforbristol.com or check out the Facebook page www.facebook.com/RaceForBristol

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