The holidays are coming and it’s the same thing every year: holidays parties, office parties, family gatherings – and food, food, food. No worries – you’ll lose it in the new year. You’ll start going to the gym again. Go on another diet. Your list of new year’s resolutions practically writes itself.
Time for a hard reset, especially in this age of apps and accessibility. To make it easier this year, we’ve assembled a list of 9 New York-based entrepreneurs and their apps, platforms and engines to help you get a jump on things. Because we know that once the holidays do get here, you’re going put it off until after the new year.
Founder’s note: AlleyWatch does not have a financial relationship with any of the firms in this guide. This guide is in no particular order nor is it a ranking. In fact, the =RAND() function on excel was used to determine order.
Cofounder & CEO, ClassPass
Payal Kadakia is an entrepreneur with one foot in the dance world, and one foot in the startup world, so it makes perfect sense that she would be cofounder of ClassPass, a membership program that allows you to take fitness classes across multiple gyms and studios. $99/month gets you unlimited classes at any participating gym.
Always nice to have a choice, especially when you’re a busy entrepreneur who’s always running around to meetings, and who knows when you might want to take a fitness break midday, and you’re no where near your native gym (ok, so we just made up the term). ClassPass lets you take any class you’d like at any participating gym – and you can attend each studio, up to three times a month. Or cancel any time. But don’t do that. Not if you’re serious about staying in shape.
Kadakia is also founder of The Sa Dance Company, a contemporary Indian dance company that has enjoyed sold out performances, celebrity endorsements, and positive reviews from The New York Times and MTV.
She also earned her degree in Operations Research and Economics from MIT.
It’s all enough to keep anyone on her toes. Or pirouetting off to the nearest fitness class for a mental health break.
Image credit: ClassPass
Right, that does say Fitbark and not FitBit, although you can think of it as a FitBit for dogs. After all, it is a tiny activity monitor for man’s best friend, and we want to make sure that one of our favorite little pets stay in shape, too, no?
One thing’s certain: Michael Chiang is a dog lover. He’s not only cofounder of Fitbark. He’s also cofounder of Match Puppy, a site that helps dog owner find play dates for their furry little friends.
So, what does all of this have to do with fitness? You have to walk a dog twice a day, take them to the park to play. They’re always up for adventure – and long walks. And they’re always happy to see you, after a long day at work.
Mental health is important, too, and there’s a reason why they’re called man’s best friend. Cats might get the lion’s share of videos on YouTube, but never forget: dogs have owners, cats have staff.
Keep up with Michael:
Image credit: LinkedIn
Richard Talens is a self-described former fat kid who eventually geeked out over fitness enough to lose a lot of weight, get stronger, and compete in bodybuilding shows, even if he doesn’t even lift weights. He likes to tell people his title is Chief Gains Officer at Fitocracy, an app that gamifies fitness (and connects you to the combined knowledge of over half a million of the world’s best fitness coaches, nutrition experts, and other folks from a wide variety of fitness backgrounds) – and nothing like a challenge. Outside of Fitocracy, Talens has been the nutritional coach to clients including Miss America (successful) and his fat cat (unsuccessful).
Fitocracy’s mission is to make fitness a more fun, more addictive experience. Play Fitocracy to beat challenges, push your boundaries, and show your friends who’s boss. And fitness is not a bad addiction to have.
Image credit: Wikipedia
Founder & Chief Motivation Officer, Motiontraxx
One of the toughest parts about a workout is staying motivated, and what better motivator than music? Motion Traxx founder (and Chief Motivation Officer) Deekron Krikorian is a Top-5 MBA graduate with several successful startups to his credit and deep experience in global consulting.
In other words, he knows how to motivate people.
He also translated that knowledge and experience into Motion Traxx. Ordinary music wasn’t built for a fitness workout. On the other hand, Motion Traxx soundtrack was developed specifically for that particular need. The company even developed what they call its Action Sync technique that sets the perfect intensity, pace and flow for your workout. So instead of ‘fighting’ you, the music perfectly supports you. It’s a favorite of workout gurus, recommended and recommended by fitness magazines.
The app also allows you to see all of your fitness data in one place, and integrates with Apple’s HealthKit, available on the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and any iOS 8 device. It also tracks your calories burned, and the distance you’ve cycled or run.
Image credit: LinkedIn
Founder, Social Bicycles
Ryan Rzepecki may be one of the coolest entrepreneurs on wheels, and we mean that. Beside the fact that he was on Business Insiders 2013 list of the 100 Coolest People in Tech and UBM’s Future Cities list of Top 100 City Innovators Worldwide,
The Social Bicycles founder is also a former Central Park horse drawn carriage driver..
After completing his Masters in Urban Planning from Hunter College, he worked as a planner for the bikes division of the NYC Department of Transportation, installing bike racks, editing the bike map, conducting field research on existing and proposed bike facilities, and organizing cycling promotions.
All of which gave him the idea for Virtuous Cycles, a company dedicated to promoting sustainable development. The first project is to develop a prototype for a mobile bike share system that he designed and entered into the Copenhagen Design Competition.
Then he got the idea for Social Bicycles (SoBi), a bike sharing service not unlike Citi Bike, except that the technology is on the bikes themselves. Which then led to Social Cyclist, an app that allows New Yorkers to share and record bike routes. It was one of this past year’s NYC BigApps finalists.
Rzepecki never strays far from his urban planning roots. And never gives up on the idea of making bikes available to people where and when they need it. What a great way to get around, while getting some exercise in the process.
Image credit: BikeShare
Founder, Power 20
Power 20 is the place to go if you’re looking to do an intensive workout in 20 minutes or less and founder Arshad Chowdhury spent the past decade creating products and services that aim to improve life at work – and workouts. After all, there’s nothing more important than a life in balance.
And there’s an app that fits into every sort of need and schedule, whether you’re looking for a full body workout, a 7 minute power workout, Amazing Abs, a Better Butt – or a Meditation/Sleep aid. Leave it to a serial entrepreneur to cover all of the bases.
Image credit: ArshadChowdhury.com
Cofounder & CEO, SleepBot
You know those tech people – always pulling all nighters. Which is what inspired SleepBot in the first place. There was Jane Zhu and cofounder Edison Wang having one of those 5am conversations about how much sleep they weren’t getting (they were both working at startups, of course) about how great it would be if they knew how much sleep they weren’t getting and after a few all nighters in a row, you don’t really realize how sleep deprived you are. Even if/when your schedule does go back to normal.
That was the inspiration for SleepBot, a resource tool that uses technology to track sleeping patterns and identify risks through web-based and mobile applications. Each platform provides completely free resources on sleep health and management in an easily navigable format for those who can’t sleep not only due to clinical problems, but also hectic work or life schedules. Resources include tracking applications, reliable information, and community support.
Let’s now forget that rest – and a good night’s sleep – is a very important component to health and fitness.
Image credit: LinkedIn
Founder & CEO, Tapactive
Robert Victor has quite a history in the online world, having founded Masselect, a machine learning company, optimizing offers of virtual goods and gifts for social games. At Google, he worked on Mobile Monetization Products and spearheaded the effort to bring DoubleClick, now a subsidiary of Google, into the Emerging Media business by securing funding and building a team for experimental projects and evaluating M&A opportunities.
He also serves as an advisor and consultant for early stage companies and venture capital firms, is an active speaker at industry events, guest lecturer at NYU Polytechnic and a recognized expert in new media.
When you’re that busy, you don’t always have time to get to the gym, and you know the old saying: if Mohammed can’t get to the mountain, then the mountain must come to Mohammed.
Enter Tapactive, his latest venture, and a company that makes it possible for the workout instructors to come to you. You can conveniently book your very own private workout instructor, and the Tapactive booking engine will match you with a great instructor, 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. You can turn your apartment, office, a favorite local park or any other space, no matter how big or small, into the most exclusive fitness studio in NYC.