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Health tech sector is in a “battle against misinformation”

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Health and fitness entrepreneur Max Cotton talks to us about business models, investment, and the truth about what makes success hard in today’s health tech sector…

Entrepreneurship is no walk in the park – but when you’re venturing into the health tech sector amid a global pandemic, you are up against much more than you would expect. At least this was the case for Max Cotton, founder and CEO of London fitness firm Another Round, who says we are in the age of the “quick fix” which stands in the way of genuine innovation. 

Having nurtured the company off the ground in 2018, he learned to navigate the business world and succeed in securing investment for his company, which uses AI as part of supportive fitness training. 

Health tech sector and “quick fixes” 

As he rose to success, there was one lesson which he had to be quick to learn: that the health tech sector is saturated with misinformation. 

In an interview with Health Tech World, Max said: “I think the biggest challenge we face in the health sector is the battle against misinformation and quick fixes, and it can be difficult to cut through the noise. 

“It’s not a sexy message to say that making real changes to your health and fitness takes time and some lifestyle changes, but it’s the truth. 

“There’s too many companies selling quick fixes that won’t work, but unfortunately a lot of people buy into it which keeps that nefarious side of the industry going.”

Bringing AI to fitness 

The fully-remote personal training startup relies on artificial intelligence for part of its training, with tech to tailor the goals, likes and dislikes of the client. It receives survey answers and matches people to a category of exercise programme. 

Based on a comprehensive training database with thousands of data points (that have been inputted by human personal trainers), it is then adjusted by a continuous feedback loop that currently predicts success to 99.6% accuracy.

‘Another Round’ of investment 

Max said being able to get his message across about AI-supported fitness was made easier by investment. He shared his own tips on how to secure the right deals. 

“We’ve completed two Angel investment rounds since May 2021,” He said. 

“The first round was significantly smaller but in many ways harder, as we were an unknown quantity in terms of our ability to go to the next level. 

“For that first round we went to our members, friends and family, and we raised over 50% from existing Another Round members, some of whom I’d never met in person, which was an encouraging validation of what we were doing.”

Advice for health tech investment

Max added: “My best advice would be to learn your pitch inside out. Make a list of all the worst questions you could be asked, figure out the answers, and build those into your pitch too. 

“It’s better to be upfront about any weak spots and propose what you’re going to do about them, than to be asked about it and be put on the back foot. Because they will ask! 

“Also, don’t be afraid to admit if you don’t know something either, it’s better than trying to make it up. Just say you’ll find out and get back to them.”

Onwards and upwards for digital fitness 

Another Round has managed to come out of choppy waters with the pandemic, and owes a lot to technology and its ability to create a remote service. 

Max continued: “March 2020 was a crazy time, all gyms and offices in London had just shut and suddenly I had to turn my side business into my main venture so that I could afford to pay the bills. 

“To get through it we had to revise the product to focus on home training (I filmed 50+ exercises using a rucksack as weights as no one could get a gym kit), and I contacted everyone I’d ever known to have any interest in fitness to see if they’d like to give it a go.”

“We gave everyone an amazing intro deal even though we knew short term it would mean less cash. 

“It paid off though.”

 

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  1. Pingback: PureGym Founder Backs AI fitness startup as exercise becomes digital 

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