Admit you don’t know everything, but be aware of your limitations and always willing to learn and adjust

Strive: Next level performance monitoring, innovative wearables for athletes.

How did you get the idea of Strive ?

We have started Strive 3 years ago with the goal to measure performance. As ex-athletes, we were aware of challenges in understanding fitness levels and properly tracking them over time. So we decided to do something about it. In 2016, Carsten (COO and Co-Founder) zig-zagged the country from the east to west coast talking to coaches about what works, what doesn’t work, what’s the wish-list, how do we make a good product. The feedback was loud and clear, the challenge was greater than we thought.

What is the vision behind Strive ?

Strive is a sports tech startup in the athletic and military markets as a unique multi-faceted monitoring system that integrates three systems in one. Founded around the idea that comfort leads to compliance and compliance allows for consistent data collection, Strive features smart compression clothing embedded with EMG sensors as well as measuring motion via GPS, accelerometer, magnetometer and 3-Axis gyroscope. The solution integrates the measurements in a cloud based software that provides unique actionable insights and reporting via an app, web based portal, and API. Strive is currently being used in the NCAA and NFL with use cases across all areas of performance including enhancing return-to-play protocols, injury prevention, athlete profile development, training load management, and peak performance.

How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?

We spent countless hours working on fine-tuning the science and workflow behind it. Making the system easy to use yet functional was much easier as an idea and planning it. Turns out turning visions in reality is hard.  But this is were many coaches who we’ve had pleasure of meeting over the last three years were there for us.  They pointed out what worked, what didn’t. They pointed out what was missing, and what was unnecessary.  Once we felt like “hey, this is it!”, we finally decided to install the product with early pilot customers and see how it works.

And we failed. We failed simultaneously in some very obvious and unexpected ways.  And we failed a lot. Turns out that building a data highway from a body to the cloud is not that trivial. But there were also exhilarating moments, like foreseeing an injury in our data as it was about to happen, helping NFL players return to field, quantify the weight room for more efficient training. As we progressed through the development stage, people started connecting with our vision.  Because of that, the team started growing in early 2017.  

Who is your target audience?

Our target audience is anyone training within the athletics and military space. Right now we are focused more on teams and groups, rather than individual consumers, but we do see that in our future. Currently we are working with teams in the National Football League, Collegiate Athletics (NCAA) and select US military branches. 

What is the USP of your startup?

We are the next level of performance insights, providing real-time and instant data to athletes’ training and performance. 

Can you describe your typical workday ?

Our days fluctuate all the time, but typically we will either have meetings in person or on the phone with coaches currently using our product for any questions or to give them feedback on their insights. We are a small team so production is focus for us now, so we want to make sure our product is of great quality before we send out to teams which requires quality checks and testing. 

Where do you see yourself and your startup Strive in five years?

In five years we hope to be one of the top sports tech companies in the game! We believe that our system can help change the way both tactical athletes and non-tactical athletes train for the positive. Helping with injury prevention and recovery, along with return-to-play. We would like to be partnered and working with teams across all sports and levels. 

What 3 tips would you give to founders?

That’s a tough one because I think we are continuing to learn things everyday as a startup, but here are a few. 

Admit you don’t know everything, but be aware of your limitations and always willing to learn and adjust. 

Understand that your product is not for everyone. You will not hear us saying that our product is end-all-be-all. We still believe that the key to success is great coaching, and commitment from players, but we see ways in which we can help that process.

Sometimes it’s okay to be a little cocky, after all if you know your product can change and benefit an industry there’s no reason to not have a little bit of extra confidence. 

More information you will find here

Thank you Nikola Mrvaljevic for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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