Want to get in shape just before Christmas? Fitmo delivers a ‘personal trainer in just one tab’ says Steijn Pelle, co-founder and COO of Fitmo, who just arrived in San Francisco. The Dutch startup raised 1.5 million dollars in their first round to ‘change the way people get healthy.’ Fitmo developed an app that connects people who want to work out with personal trainers. They believe that ‘personalized health coaching is the key in achieving optimal health and that this should be available for everyone’.
The beta version of the app was launched in August 2014 and currently has 400 test users who get connected to 40 personal trainers from all over the world. Next week the app will be open to the public. ‘Coaches from New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are very enthusiastic about the newly created marketplace where they can sign up for free, find new clients, keep their current clients and make some extra money’, Pelle explains. The average price for a personal trainer is about 50 dollars a month.
‘We want to expand to the US for two reasons. First of all the market is here: both people who need motivation to work out and personal trainers are very interested in the app and invited us to come to the United States. Secondly, the investors with knowledge about our market are here in Silicon Valley. Our app is based on a peer-to-peer marketplace that is similar to that of Uber and Airbnb’, Pelle explains.
Several companies showed interest, like Apple and Google. Fitmo already partnered up with Jawbone, known for the fitness wristband. ‘They collect the health data like heart rate monitoring. We add the human factor to the data and make sure that people are motivated to work out. The personal trainer checks the data and motivates you to do your workouts better. People can lie to an app, but not to a real person’, Pelle says.
Steijn Pelle and Dave Roeloffs, founders of Fitmo
Pelle concludes: ‘We are really excited. We have the chance to build the next Airbnb or Uber and we are looking for people that have experience in upscaling an international market. I’ll be in the Bay Area until Christmas and I’m very open to meeting people that have contacts at Apple, Wearable Device Companies or investors behind marketplaces like Uber and Airbnb! Also we’re looking for a nice working space between other well-funded startups or at the office of an Silicon Valley veteran to meet more amazing people. We know the way, but we want to learn more!’
Fitmo is already in the appstore. If you sign up, you can try out the app for two weeks for free. Request an invite to a free trial here.
November 21st, 2014 by Suzanne Hartog
‘I Am Los Angeles’ director Joris Debeij launches kickstarter campaign for ‘The Rider’
After producing the online short documentaries I Am Los Angeles, the Dutch Emmy Award winning director Joris Debeij launched a kickstarter campaign for his new film. The Rider is about a veteran bull rider on a ranch of Northern California. The cowboy, originally from Texas, uses a unique method to train for the perfect bull ride: ‘at the center of every successful performance is his dedication to meditative practices.’
‘Through compassionate film making we can reflect a smaller and more beautiful interesting world’ says Debeij in his kickstarter video. It will be an extension of the I Am Los Angeles web series, ‘an extension with a twist’.
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November 18th, 2014 by Suzanne Hartog
The team behind the Loey awards normally searches for the best innovators and entrepreneurs in the Dutch online industry, but this week they are visiting online startups and key players in the Bay Area. On Friday they came to the Consulate General where Dutchman Dennis Goedegebuure, Head of Global SEO at Airbnb, sat down to speak openly about his work at this booming room-sharing giant.
After attending the networking event that the CG hosted the night before it was an early start for the Loey awards delegations, but there was breakfast, and more importantly: coffee. At 8.30 Goedegebuure started his presentation and received many sharp questions from the guests.
The LOEY team at the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco
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November 17th, 2014 by Annemarie Coevert
The Holland in the Valley Startup Bootcamp 2014 was a successful adventure for eleven young Dutch companies that took place in San Francisco and in Silicon Valley four weeks ago. To prevent this inspiring, uplifting and educational week from turning into a vague memory, we turned some of the highlights into a four minute video.
Not only does it contain footage of our app (from AppMachine), presentations and pitches; organizers, participants and experts also share their thoughts on the way startups benefit from the jam packed program that was organized by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in collaboration with DutchBasecamp and BootUP Ventures, that had the grand finale on Thursday night.
Holland in the Valley Startup Bootcamp 2014 Highlights from Holland in the Valley on Vimeo.
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November 14th, 2014 by Annemarie Coevert
The success of cleantech startup aQysta has not stayed unnoticed: the company was crowned Europes’s best cleantech innovation during the 2014 Climate-KIC’s Venture competition. The Dutch startup won $50.000 worth of investment, access to business tutoring and media support to help their business grow further.
aQysta developed a hydro-powered irrigation pump which converts flowing water into rotation. They provide a solution to a problem that small- to midsize farmers around the world have to deal with. They currently don’t have the means to irrigate their crops with water next to their land. The company believes in ‘empowering people by providing products that truly make a difference.’
We briefly spoke to Fred Henny, co-founder and CEO of aQysta about his company, winning this prize and his future plans.
Fred Henny, co-founder &and CEO of aQysta
What did it feel like to win the Climate-KIC’s Venture Competition?
‘It was a great honour, especially given the strong companies that we competed to. Having this huge stamp of approval from Climate-KIC is definitely a boost in many ways and really motivates us to further push our technology to readiness as soon as possible. We really feel that the market is ready for us.’
What differentiates your company from the other participants?
‘It was very challenging to set ourselves apart from all the other brilliant ideas. We hoped that our global perspective, our product’s huge market potential and the impact that our innovation can have on the lives of small-holder farmers around the world would distinguish us from the rest. Especially the ultimate market potential for our technology of $40 to $75 billion seemed to set us apart from some of the others.’
What do you think you will get out of experiencing the Climate-KIC’s Venture competition?
November 12th, 2014 by Suzanne Hartog
After the competition, we have been covered in the media around the world and we’ve received many requests for our product, even though we cannot offer it commercially yet. The $50.000 allows us to invest in tooling so we can push the development and offer a commercial version of our product within 2015.