DANIEL REARDON, 21, of University City, a senior at Wharton, is co-founder and CEO of Athways, which provides a Web and mobile platform for coaches to create, distribute and track personalized team workouts. It can be used by coaches to bridge the training gap between workout knowledge and execution.
Q: How'd you come up with the idea for Athways?
A: I was a frosh football player at Penn exposed to strength and conditioning programs. You'd make progress, go home for the summer and get a loose-leaf workout packet that was confusing. You couldn't track workouts in real time.
Q: The startup money?
A: We're bootstrapped and have been working with the Wharton Venture Initiation Program, Drexel Entrepreneurial Law Clinic and PennApps Accelerator. We got $1,000 from PennApps, legal help from Drexel and services from Wharton VIP. Co-founder Patrick McGartoll lives in California and is a great iOS and Web developer.
Q: What's Athways do?
A: It's a platform where the athlete enters height, weight, bench-press maximum, squat-press maximum information and a coach prepares workouts for athletes. We take the athletes' personal data and the coaches' workout data and pass it through our [software] and customize it. Coaches track progress in real time: They get a tighter feedback loop and can adjust workouts for better peformance by athletes.
Q: Biz model?
A: Right now we're beta testing with about 25 athletes at Penn. Eventually, we want to expand to a subscription-based model where college and high-school strength-and-conditioning coaches or their employers pay a fee for ourservice. We think it will be a tiered pricing model based on a school's needs, such as the number of features and athletes they want on the platform.
Q: Your customers?
A: Initially, we'll operate in the college athletics space. We see this as being a great product for the Division I-AA, Division II and Division III level where athletes aren't necessarily on campus 24-7 like big Division I programs. There's also a market opportunity for high schools.
Q: Who do you compete with and what differentiates you?
A: There are players on the consumer-fitness side like Map My Fitness. The other end of the spectrum has enterprise solutions for professional and elite college teams that are powerful but difficult to use and expensive. We provide a good user experience because a lot of coaches are old-school and don't have hours to spend learning new software and just want to train athletes.
Q: What's next?
A: We're applying to get into an accelerator and get pre-seed funding. Later this year, we hope to roll out Version 1.0 of Athways and get paying clients.