There Are Good Fitness Startups Everywhere Else Like Canada’s INTERVIEW

For the second time since their launch new Silicon Valley startup website Pando Daily has had blinders on to great startups. As you know earlier this year they missed the memo on the  whole Chicago startup scene.  Apparently they couldn’t find any good fitness startups either according to Pando Daily Founder Sarah Lacy.

Well we actually went digging for good fitness startups last week and low and behold on the open public forum we all know and love called Twitter we found Waterloo based startup That proves two things actually, that great fitness startups exist everywhere else and that there is more to Waterloo than Blackberry.

What makes so great a number of things. For starters the three founders behind know their roles and do them well. In an industry that can run a little top heavy on the ego side they have the entrepreneurial founder, the sales, marketing and bizdev founder and of course the athletic trainer founder. You couldn’t have a fitness startup without one.

Phil Jacobson is the sales, marketing and bizdev founder, but he calls himself the hustler founder. We got a chance to talk to him aboat (lol) this great Canadian startup.

What is PumpUp?

PumpUp is a mobile and web application that allows users to build totally personalized, trainer-quality workouts. On top of the amazing workouts, PumpUp tracks your progress over time and provides users with coaching and reminders to improve their fitness and keep them motivated.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Garrett Gottlieb: Garrett is the Hacker of PumpUp. He is a current Bachelor of Computer Science candidate at the University of Waterloo. He has held co-op positions at numerous software companies, including RIM and TribeHR.

Phil Jacobson: Phil is the Hustler of PumpUp. He is a current Bachelor of Business Administration candidate at Wilfrid Laurier University. He has held co-op positions at a variety of fortune 500 companies, including Unilever, PepsiCo, and ConAgra Foods.

Ben Pickard: Ben is the Trainer of PumpUp. He is a current Bachelor of Kinesiology student at the University of Waterloo and a certified Personal Trainer. He is the current President of the Strength and Conditioning club at his University.

Where are you based?

We are based out of Waterloo, Ontario in Canada. We have been awarded space in the Velocity Garage (a startup hub managed by the University of Waterloo).

What problem does PumpUp solve?

PumpUp solves 3 key problems. First off, there are many people who are unsure of what to do when working out, are repeating the same workout, or just choose to not workout at all. Secondly, personal trainers are expensive and finding a good one is difficult. Lastly, there is no current solution that provides users with a trainer-quality workout that is personalized just for them.

There are a few fitness platforms and apps out there now, what is your secret sauce?

Our secret sauce is providing our users with a trainer-quality, personalized workout in a beautifully designed web and mobile application, all for free.

Who is your target user?

Our target users are 18-30 year-old males and females who consider themselves at the beginner or intermediate level of working out. They either currently workout or are interested in starting to workout, but need more direction on what to do.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned in the startup process?

The best lesson that we’ve learned during the startup process so far is that is it crucial to focus on the core product and ensure you build a beautiful experience that adds value for your customers. It is easy to get lost while endlessly adding features to the application. It is essential to build a high-quality product. We believe that quality is essential in keeping our customers satisfied and coming back.

When are you launching?

We are launching our Alpha version on the web within the next two weeks. Following our Alpha web launch, we will be releasing our mobile application as quickly as possible – we are aiming for mid-end of June. Sign up for access to our Alpha launch at

What’s next for PumpUp?

As mentioned, our next step is launching our mobile version as soon as we can. Following our mobile application, we plan on adding additional social features to enhance the appeal of the application.

Check out at their website here
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