Over a year ago I was going through a rough time so I had an idea: move from my hometown of Ottawa to Los Angeles. Brilliant eh? I was way outside my comfort zone: I had nothing, knew no one, but was searching for new experiences. First off, I wanted to learn to surf, but not with overpriced commercialized lessons. I was in LA after all, surrounded by surfer dudes; surely one of them could show me...
Eventually I resorted to wandering until finally, one day, I met a surfer happy to share his favourite hobby. This was an unforgettable experience - as were the many others it led to: riding a motorcycle, shooting at the LA gun club, and more.
When I shared these experiences on Facebook the response was shocking: people I hadn't heard from in years where asking how in the world I was doing all this. They were jealous and I felt guilty. Everyone should have access to experiences.
I had found my mission.
I flew back home to Ottawa where I shared my idea with two future mentors. Craig Fitzpatrick, Founder & CEO of local startup PageCloud basically just told me I have to build this. Daniel Weinand, Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer at Shopify, asked if I was fundraising. Yes...? They had just one condition: build in Ottawa - not run away to LA again.
XPR was born.
Back home I saw the same challenges - now opportunities in my eyes. I always dreamed of learning to play poker and to race cars, maybe even try special ops (I recall telling my parents at a young age I wanted to be in the army); but I didn't know any poker players, race car drivers, nor anyone in the military.
Once the vision for XPR started to spread the compelling idea worked it's magic: I met Travis Hill, pro racer at Calabogie Motorsports Park, Xuan Liu, pro poker player with over $2.5 millions in winnings, and just recently, Stephen Day, who runs a special ops training facility.
Matt, Brooke and I are focused on quality over quality - personally vetting (guinea pigs) each experience to make sure it’s worthy - and bringing you unprecedented access to the most unique and original experiences.
Jo Parenteau (Founder & CEO)
XPR team after testing the HMMV & Rally racing experience