Featured Startup Pitch: Wodify is a cloud-based platform that matches technology with the ‘toughest fitness system in the world’
Elevator Pitch: Wodify powers the CrossFit box [gym] with cloud-based performance tracking, diet journaling, scheduling, automated billing, financial analytics and social marketing. From first contact with athletes to the podium at regionals, Wodify makes superior athletes, sharper coaches, and a better box.
A cloud-based platform designed to give CrossFit coaches, athletes, and box managers a competitive edge, Wodify replaces the traditional whiteboard, spreadsheets, workout journals, manual class scheduling, and tedious billing process with a single digital solution that puts management and athlete tracking tools into a single application.
Boxes that choose Wodify replace their traditional whiteboard with a two-screen kiosk where athletes can view the workout of the day (WOD), check in to class and input performance results. The web and mobile platform allows coaches to configure WODs in advance, view athlete progress and attendance over time, see athlete percentage charts (all percentages of one-rep max for a back squat, for instance), and automate processes like billing and class scheduling.
Athletes too can track their results with graphs, log their diet, sign-up for classes, and post results directly to Facebook and Twitter from Wodify.
Wodify lives inside the box to motivate and engage athletes before, during and after their workouts. And with Wodify, coaches stop burning time on box busywork so they can focus on what counts: building the fittest athletes in the world.
During my twenties, I lifted weights religiously and made progress by meticulously journaling my workouts and diet. It was practically a second job. In October, 2011, I began doing CrossFit at the age of 38, and I knew tracking my performance would be important—but I didn’t have the luxury of time anymore. By this point, I’d been running Conigent, my own cloud consulting firm, for four years. I was also married with two kids and had two dogs. To work for me, journaling had to be quick and simple.
When I tried to find a mobile app that would make journaling easy, everything on the market was disappointing. And one day at CrossFit while I was watching my coach re-write the WOD on a whiteboard, I had my ‘aha!’ moment. The toughest fitness system in the world was missing technology to match.
By December, 2011, I had mocked up a prototype of Wodify, and by April, 2012, a team from Conigent and I had built a beta edition. We piloted the new platform at CrossFit Aspire, a local box in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. And soon enough, the coaches and athletes fell in love. After every workout, athletes rushed to key in their weights, reps, and times. They would visually see their progress and discover when they hit a new personal record. It was very motivating.
The experience and feedback from CrossFit Aspire gave us all the information we needed to take Wodify to the next level. We made improvements, re-skinned Wodify, branded the interface, and showcased Wodify at the CrossFit Games North East Regionals in May, 2012, which were held at Reebok Headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts. The visibility was a huge bump.
We went from signing four or five boxes per month to twenty per month by November, 2012. Today, we serve more than 420 boxes around the world.
Inbound traffic is high and we aim for an all ‘pull’ strategy. Instead of advertising, we have a referral program that encourages coaches and box managers who love our software to refer other boxes. We also have some strong endorsements from top CrossFit competitors and coaches like Rich Froning Jr., Graham Holmberg, Christmas Abbott, and Austin Malleolo, among others.
We strive for perfection in the experience we offer, so there are some guidelines to coming on board. First, boxes have to set-up the dual-screen kiosk, otherwise we won’t sell our software. And second, boxes have to commit to not using a whiteboard. We’re strong believers that adoption only works when you go all out.
Like Mr. Miyagi says in The Karate Kid, “Either you karate do ‘yes,’ or karate do ‘no.’ You karate do ‘guess so,’ (makes squish gesture) just like grape.” We say “Wodify do, or Wodify don’t.” We don’t want unhappy customers, and that is how we assure a quality experience. Happy customers are the very best form of marketing because they will advocate for your company.
We’re active on social media, we do some content marketing, and we run contests like ‘The Goodman Giveaway,’ which pokes fun at Ben Stiller’s eccentric character, White Goodman, in the comedy film Dodgeball. We gave away two Concept2 Rower machines—one to the entrant who completed a rough workout with the most reps (on video), and one entrant who submitted the most creative video.
Market Opportunity/Differentiation from Competitors
Currently there are more than 6,000 CrossFit gyms around the world, and we expect to see at least 10,000 within the year. That is our addressable market, as we don’t intend to expand into other markets. This technology was built by CrossFitters for CrossFitters and we want to continue rolling out new tools for that community.
Some gym software focuses on member management, some focuses on performance tracking, but we combine both, and we have a physical presence in the box, which is unique in the CrossFit and wider fitness software industry. Thus, we don’t consider anyone a competitor.
We charge boxes $1.75 per-athlete-per-month and we have a price ceiling at 200 or more athletes ($350 per month). Clients can use their own PC or Mac and their own screen if they wish. Or, they can buy new hardware and screens from us.
Our business model and our client’s business model are aligned. They want to grow, we want them to grow, and once they hit a certain point, they can continue to add users to the system at no additional cost. We’re also transparent about ROI. We offer a simple pricing calculator and timeline that it makes it clear what a box will spend and what additional profit they can expect.
We’re self-funded and we’re looking to fill two highly technical positions.
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Headquarters: East Haddonfield, New Jersey
Founder: Ameet Shah
Year Founded: 2012