Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Jason Byrne, founder and CEO of lookfit.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
lookfit is like Webjet or Skyscanner, but for the entire health and fitness industry. lookfit compares the price, quality and reviews across thousands of different fitness products and services (gyms, personal trainers, vitamins, supplements, weight loss programs, as well as clothing and accessories) in one location, saving consumers both time and money. The business also offers articles and tips, is in the process of building a large and engaged community, and is aiming to become the “home of everything health and fitness”.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
In the beginning we bootstrapped it and lived off some savings and credit cards. We then raised some money from a VC and some high net worth individuals to fully build out the tech and release it to market. A few months ago, we were fortunate to be accepted into HCF Catalyst Accelerator, an accelerator run by Slingshot Venture Capital and backed by HCF, one of Australia’s largest health insurers. This accelerator program helped refine our product and marketing strategy, as well as provided us with a great distribution network. We are currently in the process of raising another round of capital to further scale the business.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
Executing our multi-pronged marketing strategy across so many different digital channels at the same time.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
lookfit differentiates itself from competitors in numerous ways. This includes enabling users to easily compare prices and reviews of products and services within the fitness industry (something no other competitors offer), providing consumers with a premium user experience, and by displaying the largest amount of inventory from the most trusted brands in the entire fitness industry. All of these factors have positioned lookfit as the most trusted, credible and “go-to” place for anything health and fitness related.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
This is a tough one because there are so many, but I’d have to say Google Analytics! Being a start-up, we always need to see how our traffic and conversions are going in order to measure, refine and enhance the user experience.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
There are two pieces that really stick out in my mind. Firstly, surround yourself with a strong network of mentors. The other is that you should always listen to everything everyone says. You don’t have to necessarily agree with it but you should always listen to different opinions and ways of doing things.
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