Students win Broad competition, work to develop running app
When marketing senior Josh Leider and his team entered a room full of suits and ties at the Broad Business Pitch Competition wearing running gear, they were met with a few puzzled stares.
“At first, people were definitely thinking: ‘What are these guys wearing?’” he said. “(But) our passion is in running, and we truly believe our app can make running a more enjoyable experience for fitness enthusiasts.”
This fall, Leider and his team won the Eli Broad College of Business’ pitch competition and $5,000 to help create TempoRun, an app that will scan a music library and categorize the music into different levels based on their tempo, anywhere from a slow walking speed to a fast run.
The idea began when Leider was running, as usual, when the song “Lose Yourself” by Eminem came on. It matched his pace perfectly, and it got him excited that he could pace himself with the tempo. It got him thinking: Why not produce an app to allow people to find the right song for the pace they are running?
After receiving an email about the competition, Leider and his partner in the project, hospitality business senior Benny Ebert-Zavos, further developed the app.
Ebert-Zavos said TempoRun not only will give songs different levels based on their tempo, but it also will track calories and distance.
“We found from research that not everyone has music,” Ebert-Zavos said. “We offer another option. You can select a genre of preference and take (music) from SoundCloud. (The app) will put on music based on what the workout is.”
The team submitted their idea and made it into the top five finalists to pitch their idea before a panel of judges.
“Our pitch was very energetic; we put passion into our pitch because we knew we had a good idea,” Leider said. “We were a team of runners who really enjoyed (the app).”
Forrest Carter, associate professor of marketing in the Eli Broad College of Business and the person responsible for organizing the pitch event, said TempoRun was a really good idea.
“It was a basic business idea that had the potential to grow and be extremely large and have several different revenue streams,” he said.
Carter said the idea of the pitch competition is to encourage students to be entrepreneurs.
One of the judges of the competition included a managing director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship at MSU, Carter said.
After the competition, the team continued to work on TempoRun. Leider said the app will be launching in the spring. Their goal is to have a big charity 5k or 10k race event to kick off its release.
Working with apps is definitely a business Leider said he plans on pursuing in the future.
“I’m personally not ready for a desk job; for now, I want to work with this,” he said.