Professional News

UK alum co-founds app that turns outdoor exercise into a giant game


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 20, 2022) — A University of Kentucky alumnus helped create an app to make exercise more fun.

Destin George Bell graduated from UK in 2020 with a degree in marketing from the Gatton College of Business and Economics. He’s now the CEO and co-founder of the smartphone app, a gamified app turning any outdoor movement into a social competition.

The app transforms users’ outdoor walking, running or cycling routes into a community-based game of turf war. As users move through part of a city they can claim it for their student organization, friend group or any community on the app. It will also track personal fitness statistics like mile pace, distance and calories.

“The pandemic had just hit, and I was living in my dad’s attic on a busted-up air mattress. I had no access to a gym, but I knew I had to do something to get moving,” said Bell. “You wouldn’t imagine the CEO of a running app hates running, but I do. I had absolutely no motivation. I thought to myself, there’s got to be some way to make this more rewarding.”

After graduating from UK, Bell moved to Austin, Texas, to take off with his idea. He added the founder of "Map My Run" as an advisor and shortly after, met Max Miranda, chief technical officer and co-founder of, through LinkedIn.

The two have raised $1 million in funding from WM Investments and groups like Niantic Inc., the parent company of Pokémon Go. The popular game publisher took an interest in the pair’s unique idea to bring together fitness and gaming. Bell said the game was part of the inspiration for

“More than ever, people are looking for ways to make the things they need to do something they want to do, and gamification has shown to be the best way to do so,” said Bell.

Bell said his time at UK played a role in creating

“UK exposed me to people doing things in technology, investing and entrepreneurship,” said Bell. “It made me realize if they can do it so can I!”

Since its launch in the App Store on Jan. 7, 2023, has been downloaded more than 2,000 times across 180 cities in 39 countries. It’s also gaining momentum among UK’s student body.

You can download through Apple’s App Store here. A version for Android users is set to be released soon.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.