A Hands On Experience Building A Business While Earning A Laurier MBA

Posted by on February 14th, 2013 - comment(s)

While studying our MBA at Laurier Toronto our team decided to create our own solution for the years of frustrating weight room sessions that were dictated by paper and pen log books, Know Your Fitness.  Know Your Fitness is a fitness monitoring tool kit designed to empower gym patrons and fitness clubs to make wiser decisions about their healthy futures.  The tool kit easily mounts on existing weight machines and records the reps and efforts of gym patrons.  Club members no longer have to worry about which machines to use next, overworking muscles groups or keeping manual logs.  As a result, gym goers feel empowered about their fitness progress and are able to make better decisions about their health. Fitness facility owners benefit by having precise machine utilization rates and thus, are empowered to make better purchasing decisions on gym equipment and make better use of their very expensive floor space.

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Both of us have backgrounds in sports and are very familiar with the importance of tracking one’s progress during workouts. While enrolled in the MBA Entrepreneurship class, the idea was born out of discussions focused on things that frustrate us and we would like to change. We both have experience with similar products on the market (Polar and Nike App) so we wanted to create something even better that can be integrated into any fitness facility.

We were motivated to join the Laurier LaunchPad (LLP) because it presented itself as an unbelievable opportunity to further discovery and validate our business idea.  The amount of assistance, resources and mentors available to convert our concept into reality was very appealing to us.  As we continue to develop our business acumen and meet like-minded entrepreneurs, we realize that the strength of the program lies in our peers. Every two weeks we get to learn and gather insights into different startups and build from others’ experiences.  We believe that the LLP shines as an idea incubator and provides meaningful professional relationships and newly found skill sets to anyone who participates.

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The LaunchPad differs from the traditional classroom because there is a different type of accountability structure. In the LLP, you are accountable to your business and you must take the necessary steps to help it evolve, gain market feedback and make decisions that will have an immediate impact on the way your venture progresses. This is in stark contrast to a typical classroom where students are lectured to and must hand in assignments based on deadlines. With the Launchpad, you are in charge of your own learning and you get out of it what you put in.

A key lesson we’ve learned so far is to leverage every resource you have available when starting a business.  A specific example of this is the lack of headway we made after weeks of talking to a half dozen developers regarding initial software development costs.  We asked Victoria Larke to help us connect with a Laurier LaunchPad team and within a day Rob Drimmie from Communitech’s App Factory got back to us and is helping us with our projections.  Truly amazing resources.  For us it was the swift response and enthusiasm to help was really eye-opening and eliminated a lot of uncertainty about a major piece of the prototype puzzle.

We both chose the Laurier MBA program because of its strong ties to the business community and really appreciate the hands-on practicality of the curriculum and faculty. This is further highlighted in the LaunchPad where ideas can be shared and fostered in a collaborative environment. Where else will you get an opportunity to learn from other entrepreneurs and build a business from the ground up while earning an MBA?

Authors:

Kristyn

Kristyn Kennedy

MBA Candidate ’13

 

 

Martin

Martin Stefanczyk

MBA Candidate ’13

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