WeightUp Solutions gaining strength

WeightUp Solutions, a startup specializing in sports data analysis, is gaining strength.

The Madison-based company uses sensor devices coupled with artificial intelligence algorithms to track and store data on metrics important to athletes and their coaches.

By placing a custom motion-capture device on an athlete’s body, or on a barbell being used in an exercise, WeightUp Solutions captures velocity, power, work, force, acceleration, distance, timing and tempo — information nearly impossible to determine without sensors.

These data are collated in the company’s app, easily accessed through tablets that schools provide.

Using this app, coaches for high school and college teams–WeightUp’s current target market–can see how their athletes’ performances change over time, as well as how well each athlete performs relative to the rest of the group.

“There is this opportunity that we’ve found, with these football coaches and strength coaches, that these guys are spending 80 hours a week learning about this stuff, improving their programs and strength training, and reading,” Daniel Litvak, CEO of WeightUp Solutions, told WisBusiness.com. “That’s who we really need on the forefront, on this cutting edge of technology.”

The system Litvak and his team designed is already being tested in its beta stage in high schools and colleges in the Midwest.

It is being actively used at UW-Oshkosh, Bradley Bourbonnais Community High School in Illinois and Lincoln Way Central High School in Illinois. A handful of other schools in the Midwest are in the very early stages of putting it to use, Litvak says.

“I’ve been very happy with the relationship with WeightUp, they have really listened to the input that I have had,” said Steve Brown, director of strength and conditioning programs at UW-Oshkosh. “They have been outstanding in the year we have worked together.”

Tablets are placed at stations around the weightroom so athletes can walk in, sign in to the app, then go ahead with their workout.

The system works for coaches because it provides motivation and accountability to their athletes, according to Litvak. Coaches can use the “leaderboard” feature of the app to display results live, so student-athletes can go head-to-head against the entire team, rather than just their teammate next to them.

It also tracks each pound of every rep, so coaches can be sure their athletes aren’t slacking off or getting a less-than-optimized workout.

“You’ll have kids who are super into it, who generally are the ones that are really high-performing, who might be being looked at by colleges, and they are just loving it–so excited,” Litvak said. “It’s funny, because I remember in high school, my coach would say ‘You do all your reps today?’ I’d say ‘Totally!’ but actually skipped half the reps.”

The system eliminates that possibility, but it also helps with something else coaches think about about: safety.

A coach might have over 50 student athletes in the weight room at any given time, which makes it difficult to ensure all athletic activity is being done safely and correctly. Having WeightUp stations around the entire room makes it easy for a coach to glance at a tablet and easily determine if everyone is doing what they should be, Litvak said.

“If we can help him to understand that in real time, and spend his time better with the kids who need the help, not necessarily just the kid that’s closest to him or in his line of sight, that’s really big,” Litvak said.

Very little competition exists for the company, according to Litvak, but those that do compete are mostly focused on the individual consumer market, something he says Weight-Up will pursue more in the long-term.

The company was started in January 2015 by the 23-year-old Los Angeles native, and is primed to start bringing in more money, he says.

“We are definitely looking for investment right now,” Litvak said. “We are at this point where we have enough runway to go out and start to generate revenue. If we can do that in three to six months, we will start a big, more formal raise.”

The revenue model for the WeightUp System will be subscription-based, which Litvak says could cost schools from $5,000 up to $30,000 annually.

“Our product is where it needs to be for us to sell, we’re certain of that,” Litvak said.

–By Alex Moe