Startup: Forte


Founder: Lauren Foundos

Pitch: Forte is developing a social and interactive platform that allows users to stream live and on-demand fitness classes from coveted boutique fitness studios featuring top trainers coaching a myriad of workouts while tracking their performance in real time so users can compare and compete.

Andrew’s Commentary: 

Instructional fitness videos, on DVD and YouTube, have long been a mainstream alternative to in-person exercise classes. Now we’re seeing another alternative emerge – live streaming of fitness studio classes into the home. What makes this dynamic so much more interesting than the recorded streamed videos is that viewers now have the opportunity to participate in classes with real-time metrics reporting their workout and their physical exertion back to the instructor or the group.

Peloton has done a great job in extending the spin cycling experience to a broader audience outside the studio. It’s likely that a new class of companies will pioneer an inclusive and interactive experience for other types of workouts — including yoga and pilates. These companies may even grow the fitness market as they eliminate the excuse of people having insufficient time to visit the gym.

Video Highlights


To transform the fitness industry by streaming live and on-demand fitness classes from well-known boutique fitness studios.

Macro Thesis:

In the future, people are going to use their mobile devices to stream boutique fitness classes from anywhere with anyone.

Fitness studios are garnering loyal patrons by developing structured routines that transcend that of a typical workout. But not everyone lives close to a fitness studio or has the time or money to find out why they’ve become so popular.

Mobile devices will serve as the nexus for one’s personal health ecosystem as consumer habits evolve driven by burgeoning interests in fitness studios, wearable technology and overall wellness.

Market Sizing:

Boutique fitness studios are growing rapidly, popping up in cities all over the country. It’s the fastest growing sector in the gym industry. In 2014, U.S. fitness health club revenues were $23 billion, over 21% of which coming from boutique fitness studios, according to the Health Club Consumer Report. Yoga studio revenues generated $7 billion dollars alone.

The boutique fitness studio trend has been fueled in part by Soul Cycle’s recent IPO announcement, CrossFit’s 13,000 and counting locations and two new reality show series, Hollywood Cycle and Work Out New York, both following owners and trainers from boutique fitness studios from both coasts.

Product Or Service:

We are going to offer a platform that allows users to stream live and on-demand boutique fitness classes featuring today’s top trainers coaching a myriad of workouts. We will allow users to track their performance in real time by curating all participants’ fitness trackers so users can compare and compete amongst class participants in the studio and remotely, as well as monitor personal achievements on our social and interactive platform.

Real And Vaporware:

So far, we have been testing our streaming platform and getting user feedback. By the end of the year, we plan to launch our website and iOS app with live and on-demand classes, multi-directional streaming and real-time fitness tracking. Then we will build our Android app, as well as develop our platform so we can sell studio clothing and relevant workout equipment.

Why Us:

If you know me, then you know I am building my dream. I have always been physically fit. I excelled in sports growing up because I never viewed practice or working out as a chore. I aspire to make our users feel the same way. I have spent the past ten years working in finance, as well as religiously attending fitness studios.

I have built my management team rich with experience in finance, technology, startups, customer service and corporate law. But fitness is our game. Together, we are five athletes, three all-Americans and one ex-professional athlete. Collectively, we desire to disrupt the fitness industry with our lower cost, more convenient, community-based and results-driven streaming platform.

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