Whatever the reason, I’ve seen a huge boom in startup ideas in what’s best described as the “health 2.0” space this year. On Monday, for example, I wrote about WellnessFX and noted some of the Seattle players in the space such as EveryMove, Habit Labs, Mindbloom and others.
Now, here comes another entry in the market. It’s called Fitropolis, and the new upstart is the brainchild of former Expedia vice presidents Jenne Pierce and Troy Kaser.
The entrepreneurial duo are not forgetting about their online travel backgrounds, with Kaser noting that their goal is to be the “TripAdvisor for fitness.” That’s a reference to the enormously popular hotel review site which is about to be spun off from Expedia.
Fitropolis essentially is an online directory of gyms, yoga studios, Pilates studios, Crossfit centers and other fitness options. At this point, the service is just available in Seattle, with plans to expand to the Eastside suburbs shortly.
“Basically, we discovered that while Americans are increasingly incorporating fitness into their lives, it’s much, much more difficult to find all the fitness options near you than it should be,” said Pierce, who worked at Expedia for 11 years, serving as the former vice president of product. “Directory sites are often neither comprehensive nor accurate, and many options don’t appear in standard search engines results.”
Fitropolis has compiled about 250 gym locations in the Seattle area, and has personal reviews on each.
That’s part of what makes the company unique, with Pierce saying many directory sites have little or no content beyond name, address, web site and phone number.
“We research each provider and provide as much detailed information as we can, including what services and classes they offer, where to find their updated schedule, and whether they offer a free trial or new client special,” she said.