To celebrate the global HYPE SPIN Accelerator program, Ministry of Sport has partnered with the University of Queensland (UQ) to deliver the 2019 Tech In Sport event at Victoria Park in Brisbane on July 10th.
The HYPE UQ SPIN Accelerator is a global program that was developed to champion entrepreneurship and sports tech innovation, whilst providing access to mentors and investors from around the world to fast-track promising local startups onto the world stage.
In the lead-up to the event, Ministry of Sport is interviewing the final 10 graduates about their cutting edge sports tech products, as they prepare their final pitches for the chance to win $25,000 and entry to one of AusTrade’s Landing Pad programs.
Founded in 2016, PUML is a health and fitness rewards platform that enables gyms, sports events, brands and corporate wellness programmes to motivate their audiences to participate in physical activity in return for financial incentives. Its innovative system uses blockchain to secure members wearable and fitness data while building a new tradable asset class, valuable to insurance and data analytics companies.
Ministry of Sport had a chat with Adam Samuel, PUML Co-Founder, about the company and their involvement in the HYPE SPIN Accelerator program.
Q1: Why did you start this business?
The value of personal fitness record datasets means they are set to become an asset to both the individual and external organisations/stakeholders. PUML started life as a universal points platform for small businesses in Australia but struggled to gain traction within many retail verticals. The product did find great success within the gym niche. Working with brands such as Jetts, Snap Fitness & F45, PUML is the solution to the core challenge, gym franchisees face – the up to 50% monthly churn rate. Members often leave for reasons unknown, so the gym owner doesn’t even have the opportunity to ‘save the membership’. We motivate and incentivise members from day one by building a gym visit routine and have successfully increased average monthly visits in 100% of the gyms we have worked with.
Q2: Is there another product like this in the market place? How is yours different?
PUML straddles multiple verticals so naturally there are a host of companies tackling the fitness motivation problem. Gyms currently use rudimentary solutions to motivate their members, most of which are paper or whiteboard based and limited to the gym location. Corporate wellness understands motivating healthy employees but their solutions such as a company 10k run, aren’t inclusive to the whole workforce. Qantas wellbeing program now offers Frequent Flyer points. It is a walled garden that limits the consumer towards specific redemption. The UK NHS is releasing fitness apps to motivate general fitness in society but much like the 5 a day concept, it relies on personal motivation.
PUML is the solution to the problem multiple stakeholders face when it comes to motivating fitness. The foundation is a Health and Fitness data record, owned by the member, of which PUML is the custodian. PUML puts in place opportunities for a member to monetise their data subject to their agreement. This enables stakeholders (government, brands, medical institutions) to engage the member with a physical activity challenge or purchase a subset of personal data. This data exchange platform does not exist in the market today.
Q3: What are some key lessons you have learned on the journey so far?
Blockchain is a nascent industry, so our principal challenge has been educating the market from the basics of how it works to its benefits not just its downsides. The media has tarred ‘Blockchain’ with the negative elements of Crypto-currency and the challenge is to de-couple these concepts and reframe Blockchain technology as just the solid, secure, decentralised framework behind virtual currencies. On the back of the volatile nature of crypto-currencies means, the sentiment towards Blockchain companies has been particularly bearish, so it has been important for the company and its executives to have the belief in the industry as well as the tenacity to continue to proceed despite this outside influence.
Q4: What are your plans for the future?
Our go to market strategy is to scale PUML within the gym and fitness industry, but our long-term vision kicks in once we have completed the Health & Fitness record development. We can then open our product up to a wider stakeholder audience and begin motivating physical activity worldwide. Everyone with an interest in fitness data; Government/ Sport Clubs/Events/Brands and industries such as insurance, can then use the PUML exchange to obtain data for incentives.
Q5: What has your experience been like in the UQ HYPE SPIN accelerator program?
The Hype UQ SPIN accelerator has been a motivational experience. The mentorship has clarified the business model and fostered the art of creating an engaging business pitch but more importantly, for the networking opportunities that have arisen both in Australia and the UK. We also attended the Hype SPIN Blockchain-Sports accelerator boot camp in Barcelona and have since proudly been accepted into that program. We are looking forward to building a long-term relationship with the Hype Sports Innovation and to new relationships that we hope to build.
If you would like more information or to attend the Tech in Sport event, you can secure your complimentary ticket by clicking here, but be quick because tickets are limited.
About HYPE Sports Innovation
HYPE Sports Innovation is the largest global ecosystem in sports innovation. With over 30,000 members, including retail brands, sports clubs, federations, and academia. Together with over 10,000 startups, HYPE Sports Innovation has an unrivalled capacity for outreach to global partners across all sectors in this highly diverse field. The company’s business model is to leverage this platform to grow from the surging needs of the sports industry to innovate. Since its inception, the company has created and expanded unique offerings and services, all with unprecedented success and value added for investors, partners, and consumers. Among its clients are UEFA, Adidas, Spalding, Silicon Valley Bank, Asics, Google, and many more. The company’s mission is to impact people’s lives through the power of sports and innovation. Visit HYPE Sports Innovation at: www.hypesportsinnovation.com
About UQ and ilab
The University of Queensland’s ilab operates one of Australia’s most experienced accelerator programs having delivered 13 startup accelerator programs and whose startups have raised $62M of early-stage capital in the past 5 years. The 3-months HYPE UQ SPIN ACCELERATOR® Program will leverage UQ’s ilab expertise and UQ’s top 3 global ranking in sports science research. While the majority of the program operates virtually allowing startups to participate from their home base, several residential modules will be delivered from its prime startup space in the heart of the picturesque University of Queensland. Beyond this, over $1B has been invested in UQ related companies through UniQuest, Australia’s leading commercialization entity specializing in the intellectual property of UQ.
The HYPE UQ SPIN Accelerator is proudly supported by Advance Queensland.