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The ACE-List: Strike-FX

Get to know ACE startup founders & find out what drives them!

The ACE-List: We are proud and excited to introduce our awesome startup founders. The ACE-List is a regular installment where startup teams from the ACE Incubation Program will introduce themselves and share a little insight into their startup journey!

Meet the founders

Company: Strike-FX
Industry: Sports Equipment
Founded: 1st March, 2018

Dominic Orth (Postdoc Researcher)
Sanne de Weijer (MA Student)
Nilas van Woersem (MA Student)

In short

Our product is the first boxing bag that is able to monitor combat performance and progress, by providing real-time feedback of strikes made to the bag.

Tell us more!

How did you come up with your startup idea?

Using feedback in sports is becoming more and more popular. There are numerous apps that monitor your speed and distance in sports (e.g. running, cycling, rowing). This information motivates the athlete, gives insight into their progress and allows for comparison with others. It can even prevent injury and optimize training. However, in combat sports there was no device yet that gives you this feedback during a heavy bag workout. Therefore, we created the Strike-FX.

What is your company’s unique proposition?

The Strike-FX provides accurate and reliable feedback that is currently used for research purposes. Therefore, our device can even be used in elite sports environments. It can also just be used like any other boxing bag. When using this bag, athletes will not notice any difference. Especially for athletes who are doing bag workouts over a long period of time, 5 days a week, this is an important factor.

What has been your ACE moment? (or: when did you feel like you really nailed something?)

We felt like we nailed something when we invited an elite fighter to test the Strike-FX for the first time. We did not know how the bag would perform with forceful strikes of a pro fighter, and if the athlete would show any interest. His enthusiasm about the product and it’s potential for his training was very exciting. At this moment we knew we were really onto something.

What has the shift from academia to entrepreneurship been like for you?

Being educated as an academic certainly helps. We are already used to testing hypothesis and assumptions which we now know how to do for our product and customer needs. As within a research project, you want to be aware of all factors that could have an influence on your business, keep those in mind and validate them. In the end, the first part of setting up a company is about gathering information.

What is the best advice you could give someone who wants to start their own business?

If you want to start your own business you should look for people with experience. They provide knowledge, experience and advice that can help you structure, make strategies and help you make certain choices. For us that has been thinking about the bigger picture; what is your ultimate goal? Formulating that point on the horizon where we will be working towards.

What are your next steps for the coming months/half year?

For the coming months, we need to validate assumptions we have about the customer’s needs. We are going to reach out to potential customers and ask them what they think about our product and if and how they would like to use it. Then, we can adapt our first MVP and repeat the same process. In about 6 months the plan is to have a product that is ready to be sold to the first customers. In the meantime we will try to find athletes and coaches that are interested in innovating and want to work with our product. In addition, we will continue with our research at HMS and share our findings with the athletes and coaches and provide knowledge and practical tips on training with the Strike-FX.

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