ER Accelerator recently announced its summer 2013 NYC class, aka ERA5. Today we hear from Robert Victor, CEO and Founder of Tapactive, an online booking engine to discover and schedule sessions with private workout instructors.
Tell us about the decision to apply for ER Accelerator.
As we’re launching a new business, we constantly ask our customers if they would recommend Tapactive to a friend. This simple question drives so many of our strategic decisions and joining ERA was no exception. We asked ERA alums and every one of their portfolio companies responded with an enthusiastic, YES!
Starting a company is a difficult and (sometimes) lonely process, even with a partner. Your small team can feel like an island, guessing at the best next steps and fighting for recognition. We view the ERA team as an extension of ourselves. The day we joined, we no longer felt like two founders, but like we were part of a larger, more experienced organization.
Tell us about the product that you are launching?
Tapactive is the most convenient way to book your very own private workout instructor. We match you with one of our great instructors based on your personality, availability and goals. You pick the time and place. You can even make it affordable, fun, and social by adding friends to your workout and splitting the cost. We’ll turn your apartment, office, park or any other space, no matter how big or small, into the most exclusive fitness studio in NYC.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
We’re focused on personal training and the private yoga, pilates and boxing markets, which are very large – over $19 billion in the US alone – with only a small portion being serviced by brick and mortar gyms.
Our market may be even larger. Many of our customers turn their workouts into a small class by getting together with their friends. We also work with several companies that invite their clients over for a class in their offices. It’s always more fun and more motivating to exercise as a group, plus friends splitting the cost makes our service even more affordable.
What is your take on the current scene in New York today?
New York is a great place to start a consumer services company or a marketplace. There’s no shortage of useful businesses here that only spread through word of mouth or Craigslist. All of them can be better organized and made more convenient, which is what Tapactive is doing for the private workout market. Plus, New Yorkers are naturally busy — we need everything on-demand, 24/7.
When you’re working late and missed your favorite yoga class, but still want to stay active and healthy, Tapactive is your best option. And we’re always working late…
Where does your company fit in the ecosystem?
We’re taking the guesswork and effort out of finding and scheduling independent fitness instructors. Without us, you’d have to find someone at the gym or through classifieds, have countless texts and emails back and forth and you’re still on their schedule. We match you with an experienced, vetted trainer who will come to your home, office, local park or nearby independent fitness studio, when you’re available, and accept payments with credit cards.
Read about the other startups selected for the 2013 ER Accelerator Summer Class.