Spotlight: Perch Offers a New Type of Fitness Tracker

Technologists are disrupting the fitness market in various ways. The most notable is the development of equipment which measure steps and other vital signs. However, they are usually designed to be more geared towards cardio exercises.

Spotlight: Perch Offers a New Type of Fitness Tracker

What the Business Does

Provides a top-of-the-line fitness gadget.

President Jacob Rothman told Small Business Trends, "Perch is a computer-powered gym equipment that makes use of cameras and machine learning to provide workouts that are connected, help athletes develop and decrease the risk of injuries.

"Hardly one foot long and a few inches in width The device is made up of a 3D camera as well as a tablet that easily attach to any rack for weights. A person walks up, logs onto the tablet and then begins lifting. As the athlete lifts the tablet, the 3D camera monitors their movements , and instantly displays key metrics like sets reps, speed as well as power consumption from the tablet. The athletes and coaches are able to gain access to the data through an app on the web or mobile following the exercise. The data is also saved and saved for the best way to analyze how to approach future training sessions."

Business Niche

Providing immediate data.

Rothman claims, "From professional athletes to people who are just starting out in gyms maintaining and improving one's fitness level is a constant task. When lifting weights specifically the building of muscle, it is contingent on the correct execution of exercises for the appropriate amount of repetitions. Perch fundamentally changes the method athletes lift by providing them instant feedback on their movement quality as well as keeping athletes and programs moving towards their goals.

"Runners don't run without data from stopwatches and heart monitors to boost performance. In the 5-10 years to come fitness enthusiasts won't wish to lift weights without Perch. The goal is to see Perch units in every professional and college sports facility, as well as every fitness center and home gym in the United States."

How the Business Got Started

Following an injury from a sport.

Rothman describes, "I was an MIT undergraduate and was a part of the team that played baseball at school when I injured myself while doing the squats I was doing in the gym. The doctors were unable to pinpoint precisely the reason however, I was definitely not training in a proper manner. It could be due to my posture, or that my body was stressed or I was not sleeping enough. Any guess is just as valid as my own.

"While recuperating from an injury, I began to think of ideas to create a device that would assist athletes to better quantify their training in the weight room to avoid injury and increase overall performance. After a while, I teamed with two other athletes from the campus -- Nate Rodman and Jordan Lucier and came to the idea of Perch. Through the next few years, we would stay up all evenings in the machine shops at MIT developing, designing, and testing various prototypes."

Biggest Win

The first big university client.

Rothman states, "In early 2019, we began seeking that one client that would allow us to present a massive program with a potentially game-changing concept. We began cold-calling different Power Five as well as other universities, hoping that someone would consider a shot. The LSU's Tommy Moffitt, who oversees one of the nation's most highly-regarded training programs was first to reply. After a few discussions I took our product to Baton Rouge, demoed it to Moffitt as well as the LSU staff and let them use it for a couple of weeks in their gym.

"During this spring season, we tailored the equipment for LSU and also outfitted their entire weight room in the indoor football stadium of the university. We aided them through the entire 2019-20 national championship and it was a fantastic experience as I believe they fundamentally changed how they trained for strength. It helped them stay active and strong for the whole season."

Biggest Risk

Attending trade shows without any product.

Rothman describes, "The average trade show attendee is bombarded by sales pitches right from the time they enter the floor. It's not difficult for them to become overwhelmed, and then they'll soon lose track of the people they spoke about, and what they were talking about, particularly when all they've heard was an event or a few pamphlets.

"You do not have to have the biggestor brightest display at the show floor to draw attention. But you have to impress visitors with your brand and make it come to life. The more authentic you can create the impression that it is to people the more authentic. They're more likely you following the event and are more likely to carry on the sales conversation right where it left beginning."

Lesson Learned

Research on market conditions is crucial.

Rothman states, "It was extremely important to be able to bring our product to market quickly in order to verify our concept, establish the market fit of our product as well as raise capital to employ more people. But, I don't think that we knew how much work required to be completed. The product we created was excellent! The people who used it were thrilled and utilized it. But, sustaining clients and scaling can be difficult. As the use increases you will discover a variety of challenges. Our product was in its early stages and this was a major difficult task."

How They'd Spend an Extra $100,000

Finding a new software engineer.

Rothman states, "Our tech stack is complex , and we have a huge pipeline of new product features. We need people to make these features a realisation."

Favorite Team Member

A canine companion.

Rothman clarifies, "My dog Oso hangs in the office. He is the most sociable dog you'll ever meet. The office is in love with him, but they hate his erratic nature. can be:)"