Have you ever been sitting in class, and the teacher enters the room and says “today we will be watching a movie!”? When I was in elementary school, I knew it was movie day when the TV was rolled into the room on the 5ft stand with the VCR. As a senior in college, we had fancy projectors so the plan for the day was always a mystery. On October 24th, 2014, in my exercise science class, it was movie day.
Dr. Mathew Feeback shared the documentary Escape Fire with the class, and KingFit Preventive Health & Performance was born!
Are you familiar with the book The Alchemist by Paulo Cuelo?
It comes highly recommended by Will Smith, Jim Carey, and Oprah. It is about a boy who is in search for a treasure and along his journey there are people and events called omens that guide him to his destination. It is one of my favorite books and when we watched Escape Fire that October day in 2014, I instantly viewed it as an omen!
I proceeded to call my good friends William, Tyler, and Michael
I told them my idea and they wanted to be a part of the project. I received the Shark Tank JumpStart Your Business Guide for Christmas (another omen), and we proceeded to build the worst business plan in the history of business plans. Not only did we build the worst business plan in history, we sent it to family and friends for investment!
ONLY because we were loved, we raised $6,500.00. In the process we added Vivian, Dillon, and Braden to our project and launched our first online coaching trial to 20 individuals.
We failed miserably
In the first four months of the project we:
- Got laughed at for our business plan.
- Our online training crashed and burned.
- We wasted $1,500 on a trip to Phoenix for a pitch that never happened.
- We didn't even know what we didn't know.
So what did we do?
We added a few more teammates including Clint Stahl, Ein Swim, Martin Sartin, and Brad Thompson. Next, we became addicted to learning. It started with one book, then two, then three, four, five, 10. We learned from the greatest minds on planet earth and we built a new online service and met our first business mentors.
Using the upgraded online service and some guidance from our mentor Tony Schy, we ran a 10 person online coaching pilot in June of 2015 and…
We had success!
Amie Robinson kicked butt and lost 42 lbs in 24 weeks!
While coaching our 10 clients, we began seeking market validation from physicians. We knocked on a lot of doors and got a few meetings with physicians. A physician partner named Dr. Kathleen Steinstra (omen) in Terre Haute, Indiana referred us 30 patients in three days for a University Research Study at Indiana State. This was exactly the motivation we needed to keep moving forward! We used the momentum and we added Zach to the team to help build the project.
It was time to build an app! Or so we thought…
To build an app we needed money so we planned to launch an online health course called Empowering You. The goal of the health course was to get people to support our movement, and purchase a shirt or donate money. Our family, friends, and new following showed awesome support and we raised over $3,000 in a few weeks.
This was A LOT at the time…but it wasn't enough to build an app.
At this point we had run three online coaching trials with big time success stories in two of the trials. We were ready to launch an online coaching service that people paid for!
We used the $3,000 to upgrade the coaching service and in February of 2016, we launched the service online for $54.99/month. It was time to pursue investment to scale. By this time we had our first connections in Wichita with Carlos, and Rick and we were invited to apply to pitch at 1 Million Cups ICT (omen). We pitched our idea of a futuristic health coach using artificial intelligence and it changed our path forever.
1 Million Cups created a list of opportunity for us:
- We landed our first investment.
- We were invited to join the Groundwork Incubator.
- We were connected with the Greater Wichita YMCA.
- We were invited to pitch at the Innovative Healthcare Summit in Wichita.
After 16 months of grinding it out, we finally had some momentum!
In the following months we added our first advisory board member and landed a second investment. We met with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Ascension Health, and we were accepted into the inaugural class for the E2E Accelerator. Although these were exciting times, they were discouraging meetings.
We learned health coaches already exist and a lot of healthcare organizations and health plans employ their own coaches.
From this information came our first pivot! We took a step in the direction of becoming a better business.
We decided pivot from online coaching to providing a 100% automated application. It was at this time that the new KingFit technology was born. KingFit is an innovative health and wellness platform powered by artificial intelligence. We bring together the best features of the most powerful healthcare platforms, fitness apps, and wearables, while connecting individuals to healthcare professionals.
With our pivot we began catching the attention of healthcare professionals, investors and community leaders
While participating in the E2E Accelerator, we grew our network and sharpened our business model.
We created the addition of a backend dashboard for health coaches and diabetes educators to connect using our application. We turned our competition into customers.
The last three months have been crazy, and fun! We have been invited to pitch in the Silicon Valley, at the Kansas City Digital Health Tech Summit, and for Daymond John in Wichita, December 1st! We have official pilot partners for our MVP launch in January. We have raised enough money to kick off our project, our development team is well experienced in healthcare technology and our amazing team is lead by an experienced and well connected board of advisors.
As I write this blog I have an amazing feeling inside myself
When we started this project two years ago, we had no idea what to do and no chance of success. We failed multiple times but after every failure we grew into something new. This has been a journey that has required faith, patience, a lot of learning and persistence. If you think you can change your life in a month, you're wrong. BUT if you decide to change your life everyday, in 1-2 years you will look back and be amazed.
The journey is universal for all humans. It just appears in different forms like starting a business, losing weight, becoming a doctor, etc. When an individual starts on a journey they must understand the key principles. Believe in yourself, learn from the people who have done it, be patient, and never quit. Thank you for taking the time to learn about KingFit.
Please join us on our journey if you want to bring a little bit of happiness and health to the world!