A working cable training system that can be mounted on a pole, door or wall. A boxed subscription service for home users with courses taught by some of the world’s best athletes.
Two very different companies, both founded by Babson alumni, but with the same goal: to provide a convenient, portable fitness option for sport-loving athletes at home as the pandemic has forced training facilities to close across the country and around the world .
“We got along well from the start,” said Nathaniel Herring MSEL’19, co-founder of ANCORE Health & Fitness. “Babson first helped us develop the product and turned those napkin sketches into potential business opportunities. That allowed us to really take it and run after graduation. “
“A space we could fit into”
Between January and March, online orders for fitness equipment such as kettlebells, free weights, stationary bikes, and treadmills rose 55% in the United States. Home fitness retailer Nautilus Inc. called its second quarter one of the strongest ever, while demand for bicycles was also up in 2020.
So this year was a timely start for ANCORE, which had limited releases in the late spring and hit the market in the summer. The product, which comes in three packages of varying resistance for everything from physical therapy to strength training, has had its initial lead times shortened in recent months as the company has met demand.
Influenced by similar shoulder injuries, Herring and co-founder Isaac Lewis suffered MSEL’19 while mountain biking and playing baseball. ANCORE was cultivated while the two earned their Masters of Science in Management in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Babson.
“At home we introduced a product that could be used in a garage or basement,” said Lewis. “That was the space we could fit in.”
Since its inception, ANCORE has worked with professional sports teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers of MLB and the New York Rangers of the NHL. “A lot of the teams we’ve worked with so far have trained in some sort of bubble or at home, which has been a great testing ground for our product,” said Lewis.
If the past few months are any sign of this, the increase in the number of athletes training from home could remain constant for the near future. ANCORE is examining all possibilities to benefit from this trend.
“We are constantly thinking about new products,” said Herring. “Our favorite thing to do is to talk to customers, professionals, about the products they want to use. It is incredibly important for us to offer products that not only adapt, but also meet the high standard of performance demanded by athletes and coaches. ”
Bring the gym home
According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, about 20% of Americans are health club members. And a handful of chains, like Gold’s Gym and 24 Hour Fitness, have filed for bankruptcy after the pandemic upset their businesses.
Tommy Duquette’s solution to the disruption caused by these closings? Offer the athletes a punching bag and gloves and bring the gym home.
FightCamp, an online home boxing hall co-founded by Duquette ’12, has thousands of users with unlimited boxing training available to members anytime.
“At FightCamp, we apply the lessons, experience and credibility gained by working with the world’s best athletes to empower everyday people to get into the best shape of their lives from the comfort of their own homes,” said Duquette on LinkedIn.
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