Nerif Newsletter: A look into MotivateU

A B2B Fitness+social startup that uses AI to help fitness instruction

Welcome to Nerif’s newsletter!

This week we had a chat with MotivateU’s founder, Jennifer Strout to understand how & what the pre-seed stage B2B Fitness+social startup is solving.


The Elevator Pitch - Straight from MotivateU

MotivateU is an Enterprise SaaS corporation that uses artificial intelligence to provide patent-pending synchronization software and data-driven dashboards from any mobile device. 

Our solution is first targeted at the fitness market and fills the gap between human-driven traditional gyms and data-driven AI fitness, allowing gym owners, fitness instructors, and members to enjoy the benefits of both worlds. We use AI to enhance human fitness trainers, not to replace them, because we believe it's time to put the community back into community-based fitness.

With 9 out of 10 Americans planning to continue to work out from home, traditional fitness is getting left behind with pen & pencil or low-tech band-aids while AI fitness is removing the human element altogether. But humans crave social connections with other humans - in fact, it's the greatest predictor of longevity. Our user interviews confirm the importance of community with 53% of people who exercise and 91% of trainers reporting that they enjoy the aspect of community and interaction with others. 

Our easily accessible, mobile solution does not require any hardware and allows fitness instructors to provide real-time, motivating feedback during remote, or hybrid, interactive classes, without having to stop demonstrating proper form and technique while saving countless hours on data analysis through AI-generated insights and customized, actionable wellness plans.

For fitness users instead of working out in front of a mirror, you can work out in front of a live fitness instructor - the same instructor you have at your local gym - while still receiving the data-driven metrics that are expected from AI fitness. 


The Problem

There are a lot of people who like to exercise at home. Usually, these people are left with little choice, either to hire live zoom instructors or watch videos of instructors. Both these experiences leave plenty to be had, as there is not a community like a regular gym to keep people motivated and the feedback for the exercises/routines is difficult to gauge, for both the instructors and the consumers.


The Solution

MotivateU is creating a live-fitness platform that allows gym trainers to create a community around their classes and also gives live feedback to the users on exercises using patent-pending AI algorithms.


Validation

MotivateU has conducted over 100 user interviews, is currently pre-launch, has already secured four contracts with fitness chains, with 80+ in the pipeline. Even though the focus has been on B2B, MotivateU has a 400 user waitlist for the B2C version of the platform.


Competition & differentiating factors

MotivateU’s primary competition is companies that stream instruction videos and companies that rely completely on bots to give feedback to users. MotivateU’s differentiation factor is that it is looking to merge live instruction with AI-based algorithms to allow for more human-oriented instruction while getting the best out of technology.


Fundraising

Prior rounds/grants/awards:

MotivateU has cleared the pitch proposal phase of the SBIR NSF Grant, which provides up to $2M in funding.

They are also in the quarter-finals of Pepperdime’s most fundable companies competition (which is currently ongoing)

They had previously raised $60k from the founder and $20k from friends and family.

Future plans for fundraising:

MotivateU is currently planning to fundraise $250k in an angel round, for which they have already gotten the first capital in. The funds will go towards the salaries of the software developers and new hires in design and server overhead costs.


Contact

For more information about MotivateU, you can contact Jennifer @ jenniferstrout@motivateu.net.

For feedback about Nerif’s startup discovery newsletter, you can contact me @ akshaj+nerif@cmu.edu .