New business in Northeast Fresno is focusing on team building with a few interesting twists

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Next-Gen Escape It may not look like much on the outside, but once you step in a building on Shaw Avenue in Northeast Fresno, you'll be in for quite the experience.

"Next-Gen Escape" provides workshops highlighting effective communication and leadership.

"So we actually have a workshop space in working with a local company that builds curriculum for local business and organizations. So they can actually relate these escape room games through the workplace environment," says Next-Gen Escape owner, Calvin Kammer.

He points out his start-up company doesn't rely on lectures and textbooks.

Instead, teams of four to eight people are theoretically, not physically locked in a themed room with puzzles and riddles.

They must use clues and keys to figure out how to get out of the room in less than one hour.

"So every room we have is based on one particular genre or another. We definitely wanted something that's available to everybody, and that doesn't necessarily alienate one person," says Kammer.

The entrepreneurship graduate of Fresno State's Craig School of Business has a staff of half a dozen; many have connections to the university.

One person on the staff designed the games each team plays in the workshops and another person on Kammer's staff designed the theme of each room.

"Next-Gen Escape" has two theme rooms. One has a haunted feeling with a cabin set in Yosemite in the year 1989.

"I really like that time period. I really like of sound of it.....and it really brings the room together by setting in it that year," says Kammer.

The second room is set in the present day. The office is a setting for a national company that manufactures and sells rubber duckies. The timer in this room is a fake

"But at the same time there is an active boom in here more of a stress component," says Kammer.

"Next-Gen Escape" plans to add several more rooms in the future, one of which is inspired by the "Game of Thrones" and "Harry Potter."

Staff is on stand-by in a nearby room to offer clues to help teams escape.

Kammer says the different approach to team building is working already with local businesses.

"We've had teams come in here already and work with communication issues in the workplace, but after they actually do the escape room they find out this is how we can communicate more efficiently."
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