A wearable fitness technology company in Tampa appears to be moving along the right track for success.
, the brainchild of University of Tampa (UT) student and co-Founder Matt Phillips, has not even hit the market yet, however, its potential has shown to be quite mighty. After winning Startup Weekend Tampa Bay
in the fall of 2015, the company was voted the global winner of the Disruptors and Big Ideas Track of the Global Startup Battle.
Phillips, created the product along with fellow UT students Patrick Schroeder and Mariner Cheney. Since winning their pre-market accolades the team engaged with UT's Entrepreneurship Center.
“The Entrepreneurship Center helped us get our offices, as well as connect us with key people to get us moving forward,” Phillips says.
He also credits the center for getting him connected with Ark Applications
, a private equity and consultation firm, which has invested in the startup.
With so many wearable fitness devices on the market, what sets LiftSync apart is its purpose and consumer. Unlike other wearables that may track steps, miles or overall activity, this product is specifically designed for weight training programs and professional athletes.
“To put it simply, an athlete will put on two bands, one on each wrist, and it will connect to sensors on the weight, and then information and analytics can be tracked through our application,” Phillips says.
He goes on to say that while the device can track everything from volume to velocity to increase performance, it can also reduce the risk of injury. The idea of not overexerting oneself to the point of injury is especially important to Phillips, as the idea for the company came to him after losing a basketball scholarship himself due to injury from weight lifting.
The consumer will not be the mass market, but strictly targeted athletes within major athletic organizations such as the NCAA. While there are other products like LiftSync on the market, according to Justin Smith, Managing Director of Ark Applications, the competition does not measure up.
“Data analytics is very important, and we can bring that into the weight room,” Smith says. “There is no one out there that uses the Bluetooth technology with the weights. The others may be able to let you know about how much an athlete is lifting, and how many reps they are doing, but no one has as many features as what we do. We call it performance enhancement through data.”