START-UPS MADE IN AUSTRIA XX: FITTRACK MAKES HITTING THE GYM GO SMART
At the latest since the sale of the "Runtastic" app to Adidas for 220 million euro or “Myfitnesspal” to Under Armour for 475 million euro, the world knows the potential of the fitness industry for start-ups. The three founders Nico, Max and Bernhard recognized this potential during their studies at the Vienna University of Economics about 2 years ago. The developers are still at the testing stage, but soon they want to take the app and therefore also fitness studios to a new level. This is a solution for banning the pen and paper from the sports bag for the training utterly.
Our January Start-Up: Fittrack
What is Fittrack?
The hardware developed by fittrack is simply attached to the fitness equipment. The obtained data is send to the app of the customer. This gets his profile in accordance with a customized training plan according to his personal performance and its training goals.
The typical equipment of a fitness studio such as power machines, cardio equipment and free weights are now smart high-end products, which communicate with the customer. The customer is rescued from tracking his training sequence with the pen and paper. The modern customer of fitness studios gets its hard-won physical workout day directly and customized on his mobile phone. In addition to the added value for the customer, fittrack is also seeking the attention of providers of those studios. Starting with data concerning the utilization of the devices up to the spatial distribution of devices; all of this can be dealt with the amount of data stored by fittrack nowadays and in the future.
"Especially the small fitness centers are under intense pressure of competition; instead of lowering the prices, Fittrack offers the possibility for those companies to highlight themselves from other providers. Data about the behavior of the customers and the usage of the tools is really important for the providers", describes CEO Nico the advantages and interests of the operators of fitness studios.
Fittrack is currently still in the finalization of the development phase. The product is tested in cooperation with the contract partner from Unterhaching(D). The pilot phase has been completed at the end of December 2016 and the product was and will be brought to maturity by several iterative feedback loops.
The Co-Founder and COO Max outlines that „since the devices are not changed and the hardware is just an add-on to the current devices, the conversion phase from the normal to a smart fitness studio can be arranged over night“.
Who is behind the idea? What is the nature of the day-to-day work at Fittrack?
The three founders (CEO) Nico, (COO) Max and the (CTO) Bernhard met approx. 2 years ago in the course " E&I Garage" at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. The idea of Fittrack was also emerged, shortly after the course. Nowadays the network of the start-up reaches from Serbia to England. The team is working in three groups in the areas of software, hardware and business development.
The working atmosphere is characterized by start-up flair. Each Monday at the "Monday’s kick-off" the strategic direction is rearranged by the team. Team building and the identification with the product is extremely important. Therefore, the team members are gathering together in the fitness center up to three times a week. Being active is seen as a part of work and is also an argument also for participating on larger events such as the Spartan race which is similar to a triathlon. The participation in the events is therefore particularly important for the founders. In addition to the team building process those events are an important part of the business. Many contacts are formed solely through those activities.
The Team behind Fittrack
In addition to the Monday kick-off and the different team events, cooking together is another aspect to support the idea of the start-up. To protect the atmosphere inside the team it is very important to force the so-called "No-Secret Policy" between the team members. Everything can and should be addressed directly.
Furthermore each employee has a monthly budget of €50 for gaining additional expertise by buying books on business-relevant topics. Books for personal development can be purchased and shared. Other activities such as visiting the relevant fairs like the "FIBO" sports trade fair, characterizes the teams cohesion.
What are the biggest challenges in the future?
The test phase of the software and the hardware has been finalized since the end of the year 2016 in the premises of the Germany-based partner „Jumpers Fitness“. Funds were important for the development and growth phase. Fittrack could already raise funding’s from the incubation program "INITS" and the international accelerator program "tech founders". Currently the financing of the roll-out phase is guaranteed by friends, family and other funding approaches.
International competitors such as the North American provider "GymTrack" are not seen as a threat. "The aim of Fitttrack is a rapid growth in the DACH region and the development to the largest fitness data provider in Europe in 2020", says COO Max and describes their long-term objectives on this way.
We from 1030 can’t wait to join the first training with fittrack and are happy that we can leave the pin & paper at home hereafter!
1030 Innovation, Can Ceylan
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