“I’m that guy in your family with the crazy
idea. These days my ideas are all about
nutrition and healthy eating. We’re
changing the focus of Fitly, but our target
audience is the same. People with real
needs—the need to stop overeating,
the need to prevent diabetes, and
the need to save time.”
We are on a mission to solve one of the most important issues in healthcare—poor nutrition. It all goes back to my dad, who underwent triple bypass surgery. At first I was scared, and then I was angry when I realized his condition was completely preventable. All he got when he left the hospital was a big book telling him what he should and should not eat. Our original concept for Fitly was a fresh and nutritionally sound meal delivery service. Now we’ve pivoted and are focusing on our SmartPlate. Designed in the shape of a Squircle (yep, that’s a word that means one part square, one part circle) the SmartPlate instantly tracks and analyzes everything you eat.
Our first award was through DreamIt Health, which was funded by Independence Blue Cross, Penn Medicine and DreamIt Ventures. Now we’re in the Science Center’s Digital Health Accelerator, and we’re working out of ic@3401. The DHA is a program for companies that are a little more established and are showing some traction. It’s been fantastic to receive professional mentorship and land meaningful connections to stakeholders in many aspects of healthcare. Everything we do here at Fitly is centered around science and creating evidence-based solutions, so it’s a perfect fit for us. We’re excited about having access to capital and a very nice roof over our heads—it’s been an amazing bridge to help us get to the next milestone.
We have meetings with other CEOs in the DHA. We trade information and advice on everything from technical challenges to grant applications. Through our contacts here, we have been introduced to investors and potential pilot sites for Fitly. We’ve met great folks and formed relationships that are opening doors and planting seeds. The Science Center carries a strong name, giving us greater credibility. For example, our funding through Ben Franklin Technology Partners was won largely through the traction we’ve gained at the Science Center.
Our space at ic@3401 is beautiful, perfect for a startup. Being able to walk downstairs and straight into the subway is incredibly convenient. That easy access to public transportation also gives us better access to talent in the city. The coworking space is ideal, allowing companies to share amenities. We order in from Hip City Veg, a great vegan eatery. There’s a game room if you need to decompress. You can go upstairs and hit some balls with your coworkers. We’ve been working so hard that we haven’t experienced as much of the city as we’d like. We’re going to change that—starting with us having dinner together at a restaurant in the neighborhood very soon.