Vizer CEO Samantha Pantazopoulos is democratizing wellness 10,000 steps at a time



A photo of an iPhone showcasing the Vizer app.

The easiest way to stay fit and lose weight is to take 10,000 steps a day, or at least 30 minutes of exercise.

That’s enough motivation to get up off the couch or office chair, right? Or maybe it’s not that simple.

“When I entered college, I had nothing to do with health or wellness. I didn’t really know what to do because I didn’t have the knowledge or resources to do so, so I unknowingly started restricting my diet and exercise, says Samantha (Sam) Pantazopoulos.

Pantazopoulos is the co-founder and CEO of Vizer, a social wellness app with a mission to democratize wellness. The app partners with health and wellness brands such as Sow Good, Olipop and VitaCoco to support individuals looking to improve their daily health routines by increasing exercise and access to healthy foods.

Users use their smartphone or watch to track and record their daily workouts, such as 10,000 steps, 30-minute activities, or classes at partner studios like SoulCycle. If you complete this task by midnight, Vizer will donate food to the Feeding America network’s food her bank to help those in need.

If that’s not enough incentive, the company partners with restaurants and retailers to offer users points they use to enjoy kombucha and skin care products, for example.

The idea for Vizer came to Pantazopoulos during a semester at sea while studying abroad at the University of San Diego. She joined her social venture incubator and asked her students the question, “How can we use business to benefit society?”

“It would be a long journey full of ups and downs, so the professor told us to pick a problem that we would personally identify with..That’s when it popped into my mind. What if I could donate meals and increase access to healthy food?” It motivates me and I can do it as a habit.

When Pantazopoulos returned to California, she invited cousin Dylan Barber, who had quit her job in San Francisco, to work full-time in San Diego. Together, the two turned Vizer from a concept into a full-fledged business in her 12 weeks.

Vizer officially launched in 2017 and has donated nearly 4 million meals. Although the app only launched in San Diego, the company has rapidly expanded to other cities across the United States and continues to build new partnerships with health-focused brands to incentivize users. The team is now also adding partnerships with major retailers such as Rite Aid and Walmart.

“We are now in a space where we can work with health and wellness brands that we feel are cool and that benefit us. [along our healthy journeys] Please share those brands with our community,” says Pantazopoulos.

For now, Pantazopoulos and her team are changing lives 10,000 steps at a time.

“Vizer is always evolving, but our core compass for building tools that make our world better never changes. It’s always been our core.”

— Kelsey Gray ’15 (BA)

USD faculty and staff can join USD teams in the Vizer app. Enter the code usdfaculty/employees on the home screen,[チームに参加]Just click a button.


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