Two fitness fanatics from the North East have turned their gym-born brainwave into a start-up which has set international tongues wagging.
Technology entrepreneur Paul Slater and personal trainer Dave Stidolph developed Fit Gurus — an online platform which pairs personals trainers and athletes with gym goers who want a window on their personal regimes.
The subscription-based platform opens up the potential market for personal trainers, who are typically restricted in volume of work by time and location.
Fit Gurus, which was developed with £30,000 worth of initial investment, is a graduate of the most recent Ignite100 cohort — the Newcastle-based accelerator programme.
Mr Slater, who has founded a number of technology-driven business including South Shields-based design agency Urban River, built the Fit Gurus platform in around four weeks.
Using Mr Stidolph’s knowledge in the personal training industry the pair have organically grown Fit Gurus to attract around 86 trainers and athletes and more than 1,000 users who can enjoy access to their personal regimes and take on “challenges” set by their favourite trainers and recognisable athletes.
The platform offers trainers and athletes a critical mass on which they can develop an online business that is not only geographically wide reaching but also revenue generating around the clock.
The team is now looking to raise £200,000 to scale the idea and have recently become one of the first UK companies to raise part of their investment via US-based website Angellist, from a syndicate of investors led by notable angel investor Doug Scott.
Mr Slater said: “When people go to the gym they can access a lot of different workout plans, but what they really want to know is what professional athletes and top personal trainers are up to when they hit the gym.
“Fit Gurus is about demystifying that process for them, and getting workouts that match their goals.
“For the trainers and athletes it’s about helping them to reach more people and build a great business off the back of it. They can be earning money when they’re asleep.”
Fit Gurus is developed using lean start-up principles, meaning the team are making constant iterative updates to the platform based on users’ feedback.
Mr Slater and Mr Stidolph, who are hoping to recruit their first employees soon, have also been helped by Ignite100’s network of investors and advisors, who have dissected the pair’s business model and offered advice.
Through the programme the pair also spent time at Google Campus in London, demonstrating their model to a host of investors and technology industry luminaries.
Mr Stidolph added: “I always knew my career as a personal trainer was a stepping stone to another level, and developing Fit Gurus has been just that. I’ve not got a technical background but the experience has been incredible, I’ve learnt so much.
“Now we want to take this momentum and get out to as many trainers and athletes as possible.”