Home Podcast Creating Social Impact through Exercise with Vizer

Creating Social Impact through Exercise with Vizer

by Neal Bloom

Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, and other platforms.

Samantha Pantazopoulos and Dylan Barbour are the co-founders of Vizer, an application designed to help people develop healthier habits while also giving back to the community.

Sam had been participating in a social innovation incubator when she first brainstormed Vizer. At the incubator, the goal was to come up with unique solutions to social issues. These solutions needed to be both sustainable and scalable. In this process, she thought about how she had always wanted to work out, but struggled to find the motivation. She wondered how she could make doing physical activity about something ‘bigger’ than yourself. 

This is how she came up with Vizer, which allows users to donate meals once they reach their fitness goals. Each day, users can set fitness goals, from walking 10,000 steps to completing a high intensity work out. Once their Apple Watch or FitBit registers the exercise, Vizer will donate a meal on the user’s behalf. 

After hearing about the idea, Sam’s cousin, Dylan, quit his job and moved to San Diego. In their first year in San Diego, they set up meetings with around 400 people, showing business owners a clickable powerpoint to spotlight the application. Quickly, they had formed partnerships with several local restaurants, including Birdrock Coffee Roasters, Empanada Kitchen, and Chosen Foods

The platform focuses on three levels of impact – helping people get more active, increasing access to healthy food, and supporting local businesses. While starting to grow exclusively in San Diego, they worked only with brands they trusted, bootstrapping the majority of their funds. They sought restaurant sponsors who shared the team’s definition of healthy: that being healthy wasn’t about working out seven days a week, but rather about balance. 

Dylan says a huge part of their scalability is the consumer sentiment segment. When users log exercise onto the application, they know they’re doing good for the community. It encourages them to share the application with their friends and family, growing the user base and impact. 

Sam remarks on how a few years ago, she was at a Thanksgiving 5K for the first time and realized that the application really did motivate her. But she knew it didn’t work for just her, as that day they hit 20,000 meals donated. Following their partnership with Peloton, they began to see numbers of 20,000 a week. Before they knew it, they reached 1 million workouts for impact. 

After seeing so much success in the San Diego area, the team plans to expand the application in various metropolitan areas across the country in an effort to further fuel impact-based exercise. They additionally just created Vizer Explore, which combats traditional social media pages by only promoting ‘good for you’ content including body positivity and healthy recipes. 

Listen in to hear more about Sam and Dylan’s journey with Vizer and how their business model is changing the way we view exercise and social impact.  

To celebrate Vizer’s giving platform, we’re launching a 30 day Tacos and Tech Vizer Challenge. Every day you donate on Vizer, mark it on our leaderboard and weekly and monthly winners will get gift cards for local taco shops. All you need to do is sign up and update this sheet with meals donated for the opportunity to win! Let’s get moving for good!


The Team’s Favorite Tacos:

Caitlin: Taco Stand in Encinitas

Allison: Fish 101 in in Encinitas

Dylan: Don Bravos in BirdRock

Sam: Tocaya in Downtown

Connect with Sam & Dylan: 



Keep up with Vizer:



Facebook: @vizerapp


Thanks to our partners at Cox Business for their support in enabling us to grow the San Diego ecosystem.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment