This NYC Startup is Giving You a Worthwhile Challenge



Are you a winner? Not just someone who wins occasionally, but someone who just wants to keep challenging people because you know you are the best? Well now you never have to stop! With Mibi, you are connected worldwide with others who want to challenge you! Whether it is workout, food, or clothing related competition, you’ll find a challenge you can’t pass up.

Andrew Fabian, Co-Founder & CEO, tells AlleyWatch about the next generation of social interaction and how they plan to grow.

Tell us about the product or service.

Mibi is the ultimate destination for challenges with friends, communities and the world. The new “mibi – Challenge Me!” app enables users to discover and create competitive or goal-based challenges in any activity – most workouts completed, top vegan cooking recipe, read a book per month, lose weight, etc. Challenges span many categories including fashion, fitness, food and more. Orbitz.com, Spartan, Theory and Drizly headline a great group of companies who will be running sponsored challenges as official Mibi launch partners.

How is it different?

Mibi represents the next generation of social interaction, allowing people to connect through their activities in a fun and meaningful manner. Mibi users can explore and join challenges filtered by popularity, categories and location. They can also create their own challenges, with public, secret and disappearing options. Through posting of photos, videos and stats, users can track real-time results on leaderboards, win trophies for achievements and get social with others. Mibi’s integration with Facebook, Instagram, iPhone Contacts and Twitter enables users to challenge friends and share accomplishments. Interconnections with wearable devices including Fitbit, Garmin and Jawbone, as well as the Apple Health app, allow users to automatically sync data into their challenges, positioning Mibi as the centralized global challenge platform.

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

From a user standpoint, Mibi’s unique challenge platform spanning many categories including fashion, fitness, food and more carries universal appeal. Mibi’s beta focused on young professionals and college students, including a successful soft launch at Cornell University in August where Mibi challenges were incorporated into the freshman orientation program. From a business perspective, Mibi is well-positioned at the center of several large and growing markets including the Quantified Self, IoT, digital payments and digital marketing.

What is the business model?

Mibi’s near term goal is all about creating an amazing user experience. Sponsored challenges are a compelling part of that experience. Mibi can become the ultimate destination for digital marketers because goal-based and competitive challenges engage targeted consumer audiences with an interest in the activity associated with the challenge. The Mibi challenge presents a fun and natural way for brands to interact with consumers who enjoy and benefit from the entire challenge experience. It’s a win-win for marketers and users. Mibi’s monetization strategy includes additional features that will also be designed to maximize benefits for its users. Mibi’s launch partnership with Orbitz.com provides a great example. Mibi travel enthusiasts are challenged to post their best vacation moment and the winner will receive two round-trip tickets anywhere in the Continental U.S. or Canada.


Andrew Fabian

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?

Mibi is focused on growing a passionate user base in the near term. Mibi expects to grow its partnerships with businesses and non-profits to help drive this user growth. A large group of social media influencers, including UFC Octagon girls Chrissy Blair and Vanessa Hanson, as well as Brandon Cole Bailey and Margarita Ventura, are using Mibi to connect with fans by creating fun and engaging challenges. We expect to see more influencers gravitating onto the platform and a new group of mibi influencers emerge.

If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?

Matt Harvey, of the New York Mets. Mibi presents the ideal platform for Matt to engage with his fans across his diverse interests in sports, food, fashion and lifestyle. This NY Times article shows many sides of Matt: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/nyregion/matt-harvey-a-day-off-in-a-year-off.html?_r=0

Why did you launch in New York?

Home court advantage. Andrew Fabian, Mibi co-founder & ceo, was born and raised in NYC and moved out to Bay Area in 2011 to work in Credit Suisse’s Tech investment banking group after receiving an MBA from Wharton. While working with leading Internet companies, Andrew’s physical exercise was slipping without his East Coast friends pushing him to workout. Andrew then came up with the idea for a mobile platform that would allow friends to challenge each other virtually. Andrew soon reached out to his Wharton classmate Hanson Wong, an MIT-trained technologist who was an enterprise software consultant. As it turned out, Hanson was having thoughts along the same lines, and they quickly realized that friendly challenges could extend beyond fitness. The two Wharton alums were soon introduced to Bret Schlussman, a technologist who previously developed software for Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. Department of Defense as well as having founded a software company that was sold to Fiserv. Bret, a NYC native, was beginning to build a weight loss challenge app as a fun project. The team put their heads together and decided to partner their complementary skills to go build the ultimate destination for challenges with friends, communities and the world. The release of the “mibi – Challenge Me!” app delivers on that vision. The team has benefited immensely from the growing NYC tech scene including becoming a member of the NYU Poly – NYCEDC Tech Incubator. The company is financed by individuals and family offices affiliated with Apollo, Bessemer, Blackstone and NBC Sports.

What is your favorite fall activity in NYC?

Playing flag football in East River Park on Saturday mornings.


About the author: AlleyWatch

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