Welcome to issue #19 of our recently launched Q&A series, Startup Spotlight.
This series is all about diving into the world-class technological innovation conducted by exciting startups. Getting to grips with the technology, the mission, and even the stories behind them.
In each edition we sit down with a different startup founder, leader, or operator in an easily digestible conversational style Q&A format.
Today we interviewed Conor Stone, Ecosystem Development Lead at Lupa Run.
- 🏃♀️ How Lupa use technology to personalise running experiences
- 🎽 Why listening to their community helps Lupa achieve their vision
- 👟 One size does not fit all when it comes to running apps!
We’ve all been there. You decide you’re going to get out there and give running a shot. You start off well, but as the weeks go by the motivation dwindles. Before you know it, your trainers are back in the cupboard and you’re feeling deflated…
Wouldn’t it be a gamechanger if every time you went out you had a friend in your ear? Cheering you all the way. Someone who knows you. Your strengths, your weaknesses, and your goals. That familiar voice that picks you up when you’re tired, and spurs you on when you’ve lost interest...
Meet Lupa, your smartest personal running coach. This time, there’s no giving up. Because this time, your coach is always to-hand, on your phone.
Lupa’s trailblazing tech has made the connection between body and mind.
An app that learns everything about its user through machine-learning, whether they are trying to achieve 2 or 20k, Lupa understands their needs by tailoring training specifically to them - with a hearty dose of mindfulness.
This feels refreshing, because as we all know, adopting the right mindset can be a *complete gamechanger*.
But, how is the Lupa app different to other running apps on the market?
What have been their greatest achievements so far?
And finally, where next?
It’s time to find out – we asked, Conor answered... Here we go.👇
What is the mission of your company?
Lupa Run exists is to help improve people's physical and mental well-being through the power of running, movement, and mindfulness.
Our mission is to provide the most immersive and personalised running experience for our runners. Knowing that everyone has their own journey and needs different levels of support.
How are you using technology to help solve that problem?
We use machine learning to learn about our runners, adapting to their needs and goals, so that everyone has a tailored experience that drives value for them, rather than a one sized fits all solution. Our AI voice generation then allows us to provide dynamic and adaptable in-run coaching so that runners feel like they genuinely have a real-life coach by their side rather than just a podcast in their ear.
The goal here is to make every runner feel like they are valued and unique, and in doing so, they can be more effectively motivated and held to account on their way to achieving their running and wellbeing goals.
What's your unique selling point?
Our unique selling points are our technology and our style of content.
Our personalised and adaptive real time in-app and in-run experiences are driven by Lupa Run's deep technology and these elements help us to stand out from your more traditional running apps that generally use pre-recorded content that does not change with the way you move or where you move through.
Our content is the other major factor. We blend mindfulness, CBT, and breathwork principles and practices into all of our running experiences, helping runners to stay calm, present and, focused on their runs. We think there is no better space to practice these things than when moving through the outdoor world!
What have been the greatest challenges to date?
In a startup, there are always challenges. We've had plenty!
A couple we can think of now are working remotely and balancing user feedback with our vision when building a product roadmap.
We have mainly been a remote team since incorporation. Since last year, we have had an office space in Barcelona for five of our members, but for a long time, we were all working from home.
In a startup, part of the journey and the motivation is the people around you that are working hard with you every day to achieve the same goals. Without this dynamic, it can be difficult to have that same level of drive at times.
We have had to find ways of bringing that same energy in the online world. Our slack channel, check-in calls and WhatsApp group have helped us to build this up, but of course finding the right people has been the real secret to this.
Another challenge has been finding the right balance between our vision for the Lupa Run product and the feedback and asks we hear from our community. There were times when we listened too much and times we did not listen enough.
This has taken some time to get right and has involved a lot of trial and error. We now have a process that gets regular feedback from our community and external parties, to help guide our vision towards the optimal product updates. We ultimately want our community to help us get to where we want to go!
What major milestones have you achieved?
Since we began, we were part of the TechStars London 2020 cohort, released our MVP app, raised our pre-seed round, grew out an amazing team of 7 people, grown a community of thousands of runners around the world, and have just released the new iteration of the Lupa app on iOS with a whole new look, feel, and level of personalisation.
It's been a wild, exciting, challenging, but awesome journey so far.
We have a lot of new running experiences and courses coming to the Lupa Run app in the coming weeks that we are really excited to release. Keep your eyes peeled!
Amazing. Tell me more about your new app update. How did that go and what are the objectives behind it?
The recent update has gone very well so far. The objective is to enhance the personalisation within the app and give us access to data points that can be activated through the new content tool we have created to provide tailored experiences for each runner in real-time. It is just the start of this but we are excited by the feedback so far!
Nice! Where can folks download Lupa?
You can download here for iOS and here for Android.
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