Tech start-up of the week: Prospr

15 Dec 2014

Pictured: Rob Cumiskey and Dave de Valera, co-founders of Prospr

Our tech start-up of the week is Prospr, a young company that is transforming the way nutrition and fitness professionals do business.

Founded in May 2014, Prospr is a technological platform enabling nutrition and fitness Professionals to better connect with their clients.

“Professionals that Prospr save valuable time, engage with more clients on a day-to-day basis, and increase revenues,” explained co-founder Rob Cumiskey.

“For a small monthly fee, professionals can create a user profile on our dashboard to connect with their clients through their phone or wearable device, track the food their clients are eating, instant message clients to connect and give feedback, and monitor client progression through reporting and analytics features.

“Bookings, scheduling and payments will also soon be available through the platform,” Cumiskey explained.

The market

Prospr is targeting 750,000 nutrition and fitness professionals with this platform worldwide which provides an immediate yearly market opportunity of €450m.

“We are giving nutrition professionals a client management platform that no one else is offering.

“A simple payment platform, and connectivity with wearable devices coupled with a real-time communication and tracking platform, at an affordable price,” Cumiskey explained.

The founders

Cumiskey was involved as part of the founding team with Hailo in Ireland from 2012 and worked on scaling this from a community, supply and brand perspective to Ireland, Europe, the US and Japan.

Co-founder Dave de Valera led a marketing team in 98FM for a number of years and is also a qualified Crossfit Coach.

Co-founder Gary Keegan has the nutrition and fitness domain knowledge and he has worked in the fitness industry for 15 years, most recently as a nutrition coach with Motivation Weight Management.

The technology

For a monthly fee, nutrition professionals get access to the Prospr web app to connect with their clients through their smartphone (iPhone or Android) or wearable device.

Once connected, they can track the food their clients are eating, instant message clients to connect and give feedback, and monitor client progression through reporting and analysis.

Bookings and payments will soon be available, making Prospr a one-stop shop for nutrition professionals.

“The ultimate goal here is to have a global platform that can connect thousands of nutrition and fitness professionals to their clients in a far more efficient way,” Cumiskey said.

“We’ve all seen the stats for obesity globally, and they’re staggering: 1.4bn obese individuals, 300m+ Type 2 diabetics. There is more demand for nutrition advice and support than ever before.

“By using Prospr, nutrition professionals will be able to connect with more clients on a day-to-day basis and grow their revenue.”

A prosperous start

Cumiskey said things are going very well for the young company. “We are just about to launch the first version of our product, and we already have paying customers with a mixture of nutritionists and dieticians, and also fitness professionals with a nutrition focus signing up.

“We’ve signed on CounterWeight (an evidence based weight loss programme with 140 dieticians globally) as an early client and will have their Irish base of dieticians using Prospr over the coming months.

“We are currently in the process of raising a seed round and are just about to complete the NDRC Launchpad programme where we’ve been based for the last three months.”

In terms of challenges Cumiskey said early stage funding has been hard to come by. “But the NDRC have been a fantastic support and have really helped us to get to this stage where we are in a great place to raise a seed round.”

If anything Cumiskey says this is an exciting time to be an entrepreneur in Ireland.

“The start-up scene in Ireland is vibrant right now, and there are so many exciting companies coming through.

“I’ve been blown away by the support from my peers and from experienced entrepreneurs who’ve only been delighted to sit down and impart wisdom and advice.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years