Sometimes it's a blessing when certain genes don't carry forward, regardless of how accomplished the parents.

From the son of former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who still uses a flip phone, comes a high-tech scavenger hunt that is not just for fun, but for business use.

Think employee training, product marketing, corporate team building, verifying booth visitations at trade shows, and introducing patients to hospital services.

Turning that into an imaginative interactive experience enabled by a mobile app is "just where things are headed," said Jesse Rendell, who co-owns Scavify in Fishtown with brothers Jamie and Brad Moran and Steve Pjura.

They are longtime friends, their bond formed on Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, where their families have owned homes for years.

They would not disclose financials on their three-year-old business, which they said was profitable, debt-free, and which expects 2014 sales to double over last year. Its clients include ExxonMobil, eBay, Anheuser-Busch, and Google.

Programs start at $249 a month for longer-running tours, and $499 for single events.

"Our endgame is to get this to be used by a longer list of Fortune 500 companies," said Jamie Moran, 31. "We just want it to be everywhere."

An ambitious leap from the initial step in 2011.

"We went out for a scavenger hunt to be done the traditional pen-and-paper way," Moran said.

It was the kickoff to a birthday celebration for a friend in Ocean City. Most of the tasks "were related to doing goofy things around the boardwalk area. Things like high-five a stranger, eat two ice cream cones at the same time, play leapfrog in a crowded place," Moran said.

He had fun, but the business administration graduate from Drexel University and self-taught techie was underwhelmed.

"We couldn't see what else everyone else was doing, the fun things they were accomplishing," Moran said. "We realized a need to automate this."

He and his brother, also a Drexel grad, with a background in computer programming, were working in Web development. Their scavenger-hunt app, a pet project, made its debut a couple of years ago as Scavenger Hunt with Friends.

One of its first uses was at a 30th birthday outing in Baltimore for Pjura's brother John-Michael attended by Jesse Rendell, who had a fledgling management-consulting company after years spent looking for a career that suited him.

Now 34, he has been a competitive surfer and a bass guitar player who took a break from undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania to perform with a band for three years.

He later got a law degree from Temple University and worked for a short time at Cozen O'Connor. But "I never really envisioned myself as a corporate attorney," Rendell said.

So, while tending to his consulting company, Rendell signed on with his beach friends to help make something of their app. Its logo is the ultimate scavenger - a squirrel.

For the last year, it has been a full-time venture for the four partners - Scavify's only employees - with software modifications made to include proof of task accomplishments based on more than photos, such as GPS check-in and QR code scanning.

Scavify also provides leaderboard standings in real time, and photo downloading with linking ability to e-mail and numerous social-media outlets.

Starting in 2015, Jefferson University Hospitals will be implementing a program provided by Scavify for employee orientation.

Jamie Moran said: "We are excited about working with such a prestigious Philadelphia-based organization."

The University of Houston used Scavify this fall to lead more than 1,000 participants on a 21/2-month exercise to get students to perform community service and acquaint them with campus resources.

"It's a generation that grew up with a lot of video games and computer games," said Jessica Brand, the school's social-media manager. "We want to talk to them in a language they understand."

At NetSpend Corp., a provider of prepaid debit cards based in Austin, Texas, the traditional Christmas party has been replaced by a Scavify initiative that is "part scavenger hunt, part pay-it-forward, part Amazing Race," said Lisa Henken, vice president for customer experience.

Employees are sent into communities with $400 to do as much good as they can in four hours. They must do it walking in the shoes of NetSpend's target customer, who typically are unable to have a traditional bank account.

The "hunt" sends them to check-cashing offices and to pay bills, with public transportation their only travel option.

"It sort of makes you feel good but also makes our cardholders' experience much more real for our employees," Henken said.

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