Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service.
FitYap is a marketplace for fitness classes and other health-based social activities and allows anyone to search, organize and book fitness classes online. Initially, you simply enter your keyword(s) – ‘Yoga, ‘Trapez’, ‘Ice Climbing’ etc – and your desired location. You’ll then see a stream of results based on your criteria, which can be sorted by name, price, reviews, distance, or time. You can view class information and sign-up (and pay) directly through FitYap or view the fitness facility, league, association or studio profile including verified reviews, schedule, instructors, blog posts, photos, videos and rates.
FitYap also offers a platform for instructors and fitness facilities looking to market their services and equipment. It’s easy to set locations, schedules, start/end dates and times, class length, class descriptions, recurring classes and payment options.
FitYap offers both the backend solution in a simple, easy to user interface for fitness professionals as well as the marketing tools that fitness business professionals have been asking for.
FitYap provides consumers with a platform to track and manage their entire fitness profile in one place meaning they have one log-in and one central place to explore, discover, book, pay for, share and manage fitness classes online. FitYap offers consumers (Fitness Lovers) a handy cloud-based FitSocial networking account to track all of their classes and they can even earn points based on participating in classes, reviewing, and more to redeem against ‘prizes’ at a later point. FitYap has a handy dandy leader board that can be refreshed in real time so that consumers can track where they rank against other Fitness Lovers.
What inspired you to launch your business idea?
There are three scenarios that inspired me to launch our business idea.
1. I was learning to snowboard and booked a weekend trip with my friends to Sunday River. I had scheduled a lesson for first thing on Saturday morning so that I could learn how to transition from heel-side to toe-side and then be able to keep up better with my friends the rest of the weekend. When the instructor showed up for the lesson, he proclaimed he was still drunk and hadn’t gone to bed the night before. Needless to say, he didn’t do his job effectively and I learned nothing in that lesson. He wasted my time and had put me in a situation where I couldn’t ride with my friends the rest of the weekend. I wish I could have reviewed him somewhere to let others know how unprofessional he was.
2. I decided I wanted to run a half marathon and started training for it. I took a tour of a gym in downtown Boston and joined it shortly after. When I went to run on the machine, it shut down after 30 minutes. What the sales rep failed to mention was that the machines had time limits to help rotate people in and out to give others a chance when their are at their busiest times of the day. I didn’t know there was such a thing as machine limits and was not very happy when I learned I could only run for 30 minutes. Wish I had known that before I locked myself into a contract with that particular gym. I wanted to solve this problem and have a way for consumers to learn more about the gym up front or filter to find gyms that don’t have time limits on their machines.
3. My husband broke his back two days after our wedding. He had surgery and was going through physical therapy. After a certain amount of sessions of PT his insurance no longer covered the sessions. So he was required to spend a ridiculous amount of money per hour to continue the sessions (which he still needed to do). We had decided he could continue to do the exercises at a local fitness center should he be able to find specific machines at those centers and continue to get stronger in a cheaper way. When we went to search for the names of the machines online, 0 results returned that included a fitness facility nearby. So I had decided I wanted to make it easier for people to find specific equipment at particular fitness centers nearby.
What problem does your business or organization solve?
Consumers do not have an easy way to find fitness classes, coaches, personal trainers, instructors, fitness facilities and activities nearby. Nor can they sort by time frames, class lengths, class descriptions and more all in one place. We have aggregated all of the data together to provide a vertical search engine for the fitness industry.
Fitness business professionals also do not have the tools to easily market their services. Nor are there easy to use scheduling and roster management tools. So we offer all of these solutions via the cloud to help fitness business professionals better manage their businesses.
What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur and how are you working to overcome it?
The biggest challenge as an entrepreneur is figuring out how to do something you don’t know how to do. I’ve learned that if you ask around, people are happy to either help you or teach you how to do it!
Give us one word that people might use to describe you.
How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
Project Eve had tweeted about an article we were featured in on Women 2.0 and it helped give us more exposure!
Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry or startup story.
Incentivizing people helps them focus on accomplishing their goals as well as your own end result goals.
Company: FitYap, Inc.
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