100 episodes

Fitt Insider is the show where we talk with the entrepreneurs, executives, and investors who are redefining the business of fitness and wellness.

Fitt Insider Joe Vennare

    • Business
    • 4.5 • 2 Ratings

Fitt Insider is the show where we talk with the entrepreneurs, executives, and investors who are redefining the business of fitness and wellness.

    105. Kimberly Ang, Co-Founder and CEO of KAYA

    105. Kimberly Ang, Co-Founder and CEO of KAYA

    Today I’m joined by Kimberly Ang, co-founder and CEO of KAYA — an app for rock climbers. 
     
    In this episode, Kim shares the company’s vision for building the Strava of rock climbing, including a premium subscription, increasing access to climbing, democratizing mentorship, and helping grow participation in the sport. 
     
    More from Fitt Insider 
     
    Fitt Insider helps operators stay informed and make better decisions. We produce a weekly newsletter and podcast, curate an industry jobs board, and invest in early-stage companies.
     
    Subscribe to our newsletter: https://insider.fitt.co/newsletter/
     
    Visit the jobs board: https://jobs.fitt.co/
     
    View current investment and get in touch: https://insider.fitt.co/investments/
     
    More from Kimberly
     
    Kimberly is Co-Founder & CEO of KAYA, the climber’s app. An avid climber for 10+ years, she’s passionate about shaping KAYA to drive the growth of climbing and help every climber stay inspired, connected, and progressing. Founded in 2019 with a team of climber technologists, KAYA has quickly grown to become the largest network of climbers, gyms, and climbing areas in North America. Brands such as The North Face, Adidas, and USA Climbing partner with KAYA to run novel digital competitions and experiences. Kimberly has championed KAYA’s values-led initiatives in diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability.  
     
    Before co-founding KAYA, she was at IDEO, the global design and innovation firm. There she helped Fortune 500 companies stand up new brands and products in clean energy, health and wellness, and consumer technology sectors. Kimberly received her Masters in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago where she studied policy and sociology. She spent the first chapter of her career nerding out in public policy before opting for a more creative and entrepreneurial path. She now lives in Lake Tahoe, CA where she can stay close to her Bay Area roots while enjoying life in the mountains every day. 

    • 32 min
    104. Benjamin Nazarian, CEO of Therabody

    104. Benjamin Nazarian, CEO of Therabody

    Today, I’m joined by Benjamin Nazarian, CEO of Therabody – a wellness technology company. 
     
    In this episode, we discuss the rise of the recovery category. We explore Therabody’s evolution from a single product—the Theragun–into a platform for pain management, as well as the company’s transition into the consumer market. 
     
    Plus, we look at emerging and adjacent verticals, including breathwork, contrast therapy, mental fitness, and more. 
     
    More from Benjamin
     
    Benjamin Nazarian is the Chief Executive Officer of Therabody. Under his leadership, Therabody evolved from a single device - Theragun, which pioneered the percussive therapy category - into an ecosystem of products and solutions that help people perform better, recover faster, and manage pain as an alternative to traditional medicine. Benjamin spearheaded Therabody’s global expansion to 10,000 retail locations in more than 60 countries. His commitment to creating cutting-edge products and solutions that are available to everybody has been integral to Therabody’s rapid growth and has established Therabody as a leader in the wellness industry.
     
    Prior to Therabody, Benjamin spent much of his career as a Managing Partner of Omninet Capital, where he still serves on the investment committee. Benjamin graduated from the University of Southern California (USC), with a Bachelor of Science in accounting and received his Juris Doctorate from the Law Center at USC. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
     
    More from Fitt Insider
     
    Fitt Insider is a platform for entrepreneurs, executives, and investors redefining the business of fitness and wellness.
     
    From our newsletter and podcast to our industry-specific jobs board, we create content and resources to drive the industry forward. We also invest in early-stage health and fitness companies.
     
    For more, visit: https://insider.fitt.co/

    • 31 min
    103. Jordan Fliegel, Managing Director of Techstars Sports Accelerator

    103. Jordan Fliegel, Managing Director of Techstars Sports Accelerator

    Today, I’m joined by Jordan Fliegel. An experienced entrepreneur and investor, we talk about Jordan’s role at Techstars Sports, his investment fund, Founders First, and his time as founder of CoachUp and co-CEO of Draft.com. 
     
    The conversation also covers emerging opportunities in the Sports Tech category, as well as Jordan’s framework for evaluating companies and founders.  
     
    More from Jordan
     
    Jordan Fliegel (born 1986) is an American tech entrepreneur and investor, focused on the sports industry. 
     
    Techstars Sports - Fliegel is currently Managing Director of the Techstars Sports Accelerator, which he launched in 2019. Techstars Sports invests $120k/company in 10 startups annually and provides mentorship, office space and hands-on support. The consortium of strategic partners backing the accelerator includes the Next Level Fund, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, NCAA, Indiana Sports Corp, Indianapolis Colts, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway/IndyCar. The accelerator has 30 portfolio companies, including Ergatta, which raised $30M at a $200M valuation in 2021. 
     
    Founders First - Fliegel is an investor in over 150 startups as Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Founders First, a vertical-agnostic early-stage angel fund and syndicate. Portfolio companies include Carta, Dapper Labs, Ramp, Fight Camp, MMHMM, Mparticle, Digits, Botkeeper, Merit, HqO, etc) 
    Draft.com - Fliegel was previously co-CEO of Draft.com ("DRAFT"), a venture-backed fantasy sports company headquartered in NYC. In 2017, he sold DRAFT for $48M to Paddy Power Betfair. 
     
    CoachUp.com - Fliegel was Founder and CEO (now Chairman) of CoachUp.com, the leading sports coaching platform with over 20,000 coaches, backed by $14M in venture capital and headquartered in Boston. NBA MVP Stephen Curry is Fliegel's partner and the lead spokesman at CoachUp. 
     
    Pro Basketball – Fliegel played professional basketball in the Israeli Premier League, Israeli National League and EuroCup league, and in 2018 led a group that bought a double-digit minority stake in the ANBL 4X Champion New Zealand Breakers. 
     
    Author - Fliegel writes and lectures on entrepreneurship, investing, and leadership and is the author of "Coaching Up!" (Wiley & Sons, 2016, with a foreword by NBA Champion Shane Battier). 
     
    Awards - Fliegel and his companies were named Inc “30 under 30”, Forbes "30 under 30", BBJ “40 under 40”, and Finalist for Ernst & Young “New England Entrepreneur of the Year”. 
     
    Personal: Fliegel grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy & Government from Bowdoin College, and an M.B.A. from Tel Aviv University. 
     
    More from Fitt Insider 
     
    Fitt Insider is a platform for entrepreneurs, executives, and investors redefining the business of fitness and wellness.
     
    From our newsletter and podcast to our industry-specific jobs board, we create content and resources to drive the industry forward. We also invest in early-stage health and fitness companies.
     
    For more, visit: https://insider.fitt.co/

    • 44 min
    102. Phil Southerland, Founder & CEO of Supersapiens

    102. Phil Southerland, Founder & CEO of Supersapiens

    Today, I’m joined by Phil Southerland, founder and CEO of Supersapiens — a company using continuous glucose monitoring to help athletes manage their energy levels. 
     
    In this episode, we discuss advancements in glucose monitoring. Phil explains why the company is focused on endurance athletes and high performance. And he shares his vision for using sports as a platform to change the health of the world. 
     
    More from Phil
     
    Phil Southerland was born in Tallahassee, Florida, and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was only seven months old, the youngest case of diabetes on record in the world at that time. His parents were told that he would be dead or blind by 25. Fortunately, they were stubborn, and Phil had access to insulin, a knowledgeable medical team, and the latest in blood glucose monitoring tools. At six, he had the dream not to go blind and a drive to reach the A1C results needed.
     
    He discovered his love of the bike when he was 12. While attending the University of Georgia, he dreamed of combining his passion for cycling and his personal mission to raise awareness around diabetes. In 2005, Team Type 1 was founded, and by 2007 an all-diabetes cycling team not only won but set the world record in the 3,000-mile Race Across America. Under Phil’s leadership, the dynamic squad rapidly grew from an amateur team to more than 100 athletes spanning the globe to inspire and unite people affected by diabetes and ranked in the top 25 professional cycling teams in the world in 2012.
     
    In late 2012, Phil and the team partnered with Novo Nordisk to create Team Novo Nordisk. The team is spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes pro-cycling team and features a development team, elite team, and one female professional track star, Mandy Marquardt.
     
    Now in his late-thirties, Phil has dedicated his life to redefining what it means to live with diabetes and is driving a global movement to show the world how exercise can save the health of the world.
     
    "Exercise is the billion-dollar drug that rarely gets prescribed."
     
    Throughout his career, professional highlights include speaking at the United Nations on World Bicycle Day, leading a session at SXSW, and addressing audiences at ADA and AADE to speaking to one person at an event in Boise, Idaho. For Phil, the value isn’t based on prestige as much as it is on impact. He is driven to make a difference in people’s lives and approaches it one person at a time.
     
    To Phil, the bike has kept him alive for the past 25 years. While retired from professional racing, Phil regularly rides and still credits the bike for providing him with his continued health and sanity.
     
    Phil is a dedicated and proud father to three boys with wife, Dr. Biljana Southerland. In addition to the bike, Phil is a passionate skier and deep-water scuba diver. He calls Atlanta, Georgia home, and is a supporter of the High Museum. Phil is a former board member of Camp Kudzu, Hope Sports, and JDRF. He is a voracious reader and enjoys collecting rare wines and watches. Phil is the author of the book ‘Not Dead Yet’, which chronicles his life from early diagnosis of diabetes to professional cyclist and his mission to change the face of diabetes on
    a global scale.
     
    Southerland currently serves as the CEO and co-founder of Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, and the founder and president of the non-profit Team Type 1 Foundation.



    More from Fitt Insider 
     
    Fitt Insider is a platform for entrepreneurs, executives, and investors redefining the business of fitness and wellness.
     
    From our newsletter and podcast to our industry-specific jobs board, we create content and resources to drive the industry forward. We also invest in early-stage health and fitness companies.
     
    For more, visit: https://insider.fitt.co/

    • 37 min
    101. Ara Katz, co-founder & co-CEO of Seed Health

    101. Ara Katz, co-founder & co-CEO of Seed Health

    Today I’m joined by Ara Katz, co-founder & co-CEO of Seed Health — a microbial sciences company. 
     
    In this episode, we discuss the microbiome and the many ways it impacts well-being. Ara explains Seed’s approach to building a platform around studying and commercializing probiotics. And we talk about the differences between wellness, healthcare, and consumer life science. 
     
    More from Ara 
     
    A serial entrepreneur, advisor and angel investor, Ara Katz has eclectic experience at the intersection of health, tech, environment, media and design. 
     
    She founded Seed Health to pioneer applications of microbes for both human and environmental health. Her work encompasses the translation of breakthrough science for a pipeline of probiotic innovations from discovery through commercialization across product, brand, insights, design-thinking, delivery technologies, industrial design, international DTC, new retail strategies, community, fundraising, channel expansion, business development and science communication. 
     
    She spearheaded the company’s $40MM fundraising to accelerate R+D and accelerate the company’s pipeline beyond gut microbiome into microbial applications across dermatology, oral hygiene, pediatrics, women's health, infant health and nutrition. She brought the company carbon negative, to profitability, and led the acquisition of digital health ML company, Auggi.
     
    Ara is also a co-founder of Seed Health’s environmental division, SeedLabs, and its first partner biotech company focused on women’s health, LUCA Biologics. Their first therapeutic for rUTI enters the clinic in September 2021 followed by interventions for BV and Preterm Birth. 
     
    Previously, Ara co-founded mobile commerce startup Spring, where she helped launch ApplePay on iPhone, and has invested in and advised companies across consumer, health and tech such as: RXDefine (TeleMed), C16 Biosciences (Sustainability), MindBodyGreen (Wellness), Mahmee (Maternal Care), Stadium Goods (Consumer / Marketplace), and Unicycle (Ed Tech). 
     
    Ara was a Visiting Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, where she helped create the Center for Future Storytelling and CCA’s Design Thinking MBA program. She has appeared on numerous podcasts like Rich Roll, Girlboss Radio, Welltodo, Commune and Broken Brain. She has been named in Marie Claire’s ‘The New Guard: The 50 Most Influential Women in America,’ Business Insider’s Silicon Alley ‘Top 100’ and ‘36 Rockstar Women in NYC Tech,’ Create + Cultivate’s ‘100 List for STEM,’ and Women We Admire’s ‘Top 100 Women CEOs of 2021.’ Her work has earned accolades such as Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas 2019, 2020, and 2021,TIME’s Best Inventions 2018, and a Webby Award for Best Use of Stories in 2020. 
     
    She lives in Venice, California with her husband and five-year-old son, Pax (the reason Seed Health exists). She is passionate about the communication of science, the interplay of the environment and physical space, and the connecting of never before connected dots. Lastly, she’s the proud owner of several tardigrades who live at Harvard’s Museum of Natural History.
     
    More from Fitt Insider
     
    Fitt Insider is a platform for entrepreneurs, executives, and investors redefining the business of fitness and wellness.
     
    From our newsletter and podcast to our industry-specific jobs board, we create content and resources to drive the industry forward. We also invest in early-stage health and fitness companies.

    For more, visit: https://insider.fitt.co/

    • 36 min
    100. Tom Aulet, co-founder & CEO of Ergatta

    100. Tom Aulet, co-founder & CEO of Ergatta

    Today I’m joined by Tom Aulet, co-founder and CEO of Ergatta — a game-based connected rower. 
     
    In this episode, Tom lays out the opportunity in creating fitness offerings that go beyond instructor-led, boutique-style classes. We talk about the company’s approach to designing game-based content. And we discuss the potential for Ergatta to enter new categories in addition to rowing. 
     
    More from Tom
     
    Tom is a teacher, turned economic analyst, turned enterprise software revenue leader, turned tech entrepreneur.  After graduating from Vanderbilt with a degree in Spanish & Economics, Tom spent a year teaching English to high schoolers in Spain and then two years as an economic consultant at Cornerstone Research.  Wanting something completely new, he then jumped to marketing software platform MediaMath where he did global enterprise deals, ran an EMEA & LATAM revenue team out of London, and eventually built and ran a global sales team.  While struggling to find a practical and enjoyable fitness routine with a demanding job, Tom got the idea for Ergatta, partnered with his two favorite ex-colleagues and built the world’s first game-based cardio machine. 
     
    More from Fitt Insider 
     
    Fitt Insider is a platform for entrepreneurs, executives, and investors redefining the business of fitness and wellness.
     
    From our newsletter and podcast to our industry-specific jobs board, we create content and resources to drive the industry forward. We also invest in early-stage health and fitness companies.
     
    For more, visit: https://insider.fitt.co/

    • 36 min

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