According to her father, Kevin, Hannah McGroarty, co-founder of a new software company called “Striive,” has always had an “entrepreneurial spirit,” even as a child when she made and sold bookmarks and walked dogs in Leaside.
It is not surprising, then, that after graduating from St. Patrick Catholic Secondary School, Hannah headed off to Laurier University to pursue a degree in business administration with co-op. In her two placements with SoCIAL LITE Vodka at their Toronto office, she created, among other things, a grassroots marketing campaign, and trained an ambassador team.
Her next placement this fall is with a start-up company in Waterloo called BridesMade, which rents out bridesmaids’ dresses. She will also be the don for the entrepreneurial floor in her residence.
All of these experiences prepared Hannah at the age of only 21 to start her own business with fellow students Etai Mizrahi and Andrew McEwen, based on their shared interest in gyms and being active. While working on another project, Etai noticed a problem with turnovers at gyms. Inspired by the motivational qualities of Fitbit, the team came up with Striive, “a gym-incentive app to reward members for their fitness accomplishments by providing them with discounts to a variety of fitness-related brands.”
With the help of the LaunchPad program at Laurier, which encourages students to start their own businesses by providing them with office space, mentors and grants, the partners conducted research and made contacts before field-testing the app and officially launching it in June. By the end of July, the app had just under one thousand users.
Here’s how it works: Once a client downloads the free app from the App Store or Google Play, the app registers each visit to a specific gym. The client then completes personal goals and gym-wide challenges in order to earn points that can be exchanged for rewards for their favourite fitness products.
As Hannah explains, each group benefits from this arrangement. The gym-goers are more likely to remain engaged in the gym community to earn rewards. The gym-owners pay fees to receive data about client habits and advice about effective ways to motivate their clients through challenges, thus building their community and reducing their attrition rates. Finally, Striive enables fitness brands, again for a fee, to “market directly to their target customers as well as increasing the use of their coupons and promotions” through studying the habits of their customers.
Some of their brand partners are MVP Meals, Drink Juice Co., Goodvibes Juice, Magic Oven, Teami and Revitasize, as well as other clothing and health brands.
Her clients are very loyal to the app and use it regularly.
The three partners hope to work for Striive full-time once they graduate next year, and look forward to seeing how it develops. Hannah says she is very proud of the work they have done. “Running a business while I’m in school can be challenging, but I am learning so much that it is worth the late nights and hard work.”