Vator Box is our fast-paced show where entrepreneurs present their promising ideas or early-stage businesses in front of prominent angels or investors in Silicon Valley. In this episode, Naval Ravikant, co-founder of AngelList is our guest host, joining Ezra Roizen and me. We take a look at GAIN Fitness, which personalizes training programs for individuals. Nicholas Gammel, founder and CEO, kicks it off with his 90-second pitch.
Then we jump into our five-minute Q&A, the panelists' two-minute feedback, and Nicholas' one-minute final word.
Here are some highlights:
– Nicholas said there are nearly 60 million health-conscious Americans working out. But DVDs don't offer enough guidance and personal trainers are expensive. GAIN's technology can create a personalized workout system that's $7 to $10 a month. The fitness business is a $100 billion industry. The rise of video games, such as Wii Fit, and workout programs, like P90X, are testament to the demand for workout programs.
-- Nicholas includes bios of all his founding team members. Nicholas worked at Google, working on decision models and analytics. Kerstin Knebel is a software engineer, with experience in social marketing. Robert Baily is a co-founder, who was the lead designer at Picasa, which was acquired by Google in 2004. Dereck Rasmussen is a software engineer, with experience in online shopping as an engineer at Personal Shopper.
We are all impressed by the team members.
-- We all give a thumbs up to the pitch as comprehensive and passionately delivered. But then we begin diving into the question of distribution and pricing.
-- Ezra says he doesn't think business is a feature. He believes it can be a business, but distribution is key, and the social media efforts to distribute are likely not going to give the team enough traction. "Beyond social media stuff, if you're not on Oprah five times over, can you get enough people using this?" Ezra said, in jest. Ezra suggests finding a celebrity who could promote the service.
-- Naval suggests tapping into personal trainers. GAIN could possibly get trainers to pay for the service and then offer it to their clients as a way to improve retention.
-- I raise questions about how GAIN's service can motivate individuals? Nicholas said the target market for the service is active excercisers.
-- We all question the $7 to $10 monthly fee. Nicholas explains that most gym services are $50 a month and other fitness services that connect people with trainers can cost $20 a week. The sub-$10 price point is designed to be painless. Naval brings up the point that the rise of the app economy, with apps costing $5 and under, is starting to train people to want apps and services in the low-single digits.