Interview with introPLAY – Tackling Obesity One Community At A Time
There’s is a growing concern (no pun intended) in the United States and around the World with people being over weight, losing weight and battling obesity both for adults and with children. People are working more hours, eating worse food and finding less time and energy to schedule in a decent workout program. That said, we had the pleasure of speaking with Anil Doshi of introPLAY LLC, which is an online excercise and fitness community that is putting a new fun spin on helping people exercise and shrink their handlebars. We hope you enjoy the interview.
TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?
introPLAY: introPLAY is the premiere online exercise and fitness community built around group-oriented services which are unavailable anywhere else. Users (our users are “Players”)
(a) track workouts in about 90 different sports and activities
(b) create and play in competitive exercise leagues in a format similar to fantasy sports, called introLEAGUES and
(c) create and participate in groups that set and strive for collective goals, called introTEAMS.
introPLAY: Some of the introPLAY’s initial features include:
(a) Exercise tracking.
– Players can track workouts across 90 different sports and activities
– The site gives Players flexibility to add as much detail as they would like for each workout
– Since most people are involved in more than one activity, the site is their one stop for tracking all of their exercise-based information.
– For the first time, Players can enter specific details of a run, their performance from a round of golf, and then their exact workout at the gym, down to the last rep– all on one site.
– Competitive leagues where Players compete and score points based on their workouts in a format similar to fantasy sports.
– Each Player’s individual workouts contribute to their team’s overall score and place in the standings.
– Proprietary scoring system that compares effort across all sports and activities.
– Keep an eye on the team and individual standings, manage teams, trade Players, motivate teammates and many other features you would expect from a competitive league!
– Cooperative group where Players achieve common goals, such as running a cumulative 100 miles in one month or exercising for 25 hours in one week.
– Each Player’s individual workouts contribute to the achievement of the collective goal.
-introTEAMS provide mutual support and motivation that helps the entire introTEAM achieve its goals.
– Fully customizable goals allow each introTEAM to focus on the goals that matter to the Players in that team. introTEAMS can revolve around almost any health and fitness goal, such as improving overall fitness, gaining or losing weight, quitting smoking, etc.
TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?
introPLAY: I put together the first introLEAGUE with five friends back in college. Of course, we did not call it an introLEAGUE back then–it was just an ‘exercise competition’ and we kept score on a spreadsheet, rather than online via an elaborate scoring system. It worked for all of us. Each of us exercised more, we were more excited about making it to the gym and we definitely had a lot of fun during the competitions.
The guiding principle behind introPLAY is to translate that experience of fun, motivation and camaraderie for everybody. We want to make it fun to exercise and in doing so, we want people to exercise more and improve their overall fitness level.
TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?
introPLAY: Our mission is to help people exercise more through a group-oriented approach to health and exercise.
TechAddress: Who’s your target customer or audience?
introPLAY: In general, we are targeting anyone who enjoys exercising. Our service offering is beneficial to every fitness enthusiast, regardless of experience or physical ability.
Specifically, we recognize that exercise is more effective and enjoyable when it is a group activity. So we target any discrete groups with common goals. Any of the following groups would be interested in joining introPLAY:
– bride, groom and bridal party getting in shape before a wedding
– recent mothers who want to become more physically active
– athletes looking for motivation and analysis of their habits
– college friends who want to motivate one another
– any organization that wants to increase teamwork and camaraderie
– families where generations can challenge one another
– anyone who wants a fun, social way to get fit.
TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?
introPLAY: We are working fervently towards the launch of our beta. From there, we will be providing additional services that build from our initial features.
TechAddress: When’s the launch date?
introPLAY: Our plan is to publicly launch in the fourth quarter. We currently have a form at our homepage for people who would like to receive information about our launch as it nears.
TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?
introPLAY: There are a ton of exercise trackers that allow users to track a single sport. However, at introPLAY the sheer depth and breadth of exercise tracking is unparalleled. For example, right now, someone would need multiple sites to keep track of all their physical activity if they ran and went to the gym during the week and played golf on weekends. But at introPLAY that person would be able to keep track of everything in one place using a robust new workout entry interface.
Also, while many other health and fitness websites allow one to enter fields of information and draw up some charts to look at trends, introPLAY makes each workout count towards something more. Specifically each workout results in points scored in introLEAGUES and progress towards achieving defined goals in introTEAMS. These services promote sustained motivation for people to exercise consistently by appealing to the people’s need for competition and camaraderie.
TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?
introPLAY: There are a number of services that we plan on developing immediately after launch, including cross-activity analysis tools. For instance, a golfer may be able to find the weight training program that optimizes his/her golf game. Or a martial artist can better assess his/her need to divide time between weight training, aerobic exercise and technical training.
Another service we plan on launching is a “trophy room” where Players can accumulate personal best, milestone and site-wide records for their performance and effort in all activities.
There are also a number of partnership opportunities that we plan to explore at the appropriate time. We can put together training programs, introLEAGUES and introTEAMS in coordination with health clubs, trainers, sports leagues, wellness programs, etc.
Down the line, we plan on adding diet tracking to complement the exercise system and provide group-based services around diet and nutrition. After all, diet and exercise are the two cornerstones of improved health.
TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?
introPLAY: We have not yet launched so this information is unavailable at this time.
TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?
introPLAY: Currently we are funded by the founders. As we approach a public launch we will begin exploring options for external financing.
Thanks very much, TechAddress, for the opportunity to speak with TechAddress about introPLAY.
As always, it has been our pleasure.
click above thumbnails to view larger image.
Entry filed under: business, internet, introplay, obesity, online, online community, social, startup, startups, tech, techaddress, Technology, technorati, web, web 2.0, Web 2.0 technologies, weight, weight loss, Weight Loss and Health.