Jennifer Strout is an innovative entrepreneur focused on providing accessible technological solutions in order to foster a society in which people feel both fulfilled and enriched. Her insatiable thirst for knowledge has led her to complete over 300 college credits, which she has been able to leverage towards her goal of launching several new businesses as a 4x founder of a sole prop, a brick & mortar, a non-profit, and now a tech startup. Jennifer has over six years of fundraising experience, 10+ years of healthcare experience, 11+ years of supervisory experience, and more than 18 years of research experience.
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Thank you so much for giving us your time! Before we begin, could you introduce yourself to our readers and take us through what exactly your company does and what your vision is for its future?
Jennifer Strout: At age 4, I was given my first computer from my grandfather, I used one to teach myself math at age 5, to write my first screenplay at age 10, to develop my first webpage at age 12, to code a novel program at age 20, and to patent my first invention this past summer. From over a decade of work experience as a counselor in the mental health field to gaining hands-on experience as a personal trainer in the fitness industry, I understand the human condition and how both mental health and physical health are inextricably intertwined.
After the birth of my second son, despite my best efforts, I was still unable to find a local gym that suited the needs of both myself and my children. While I liked the convenience and flexibility of at-home solutions, they lacked either the human connection data or both. I wondered, why should I have to choose between partial, inadequate solutions?
From the trainer’s perspective, I felt that the industry lacked any competitive technology. How could one reasonably live-stream a class while still providing feedback to multiple users at once? I could not even effectively focus on numerous people speaking during a video conference, and at least that technology highlighted who was speaking at the time, whereas fitness instructors did not even have any way to know who to focus on when providing virtual solutions.
Therefore, I am both the consumer and the end-user of our solution. With 9 out of 10 Americans planning to continue to work out from home, traditional fitness is getting left behind with pen & pencil or low-tech band-aids while AI fitness is removing the human element and bypassing fitness professionals altogether.
Simply put, fitness professionals lack the tools to fight back against direct-to-consumer A.I. Fitness, which is stealing their clients. Bridging the gap between data-driven AI fitness and human-driven traditional fitness, our patent-pending solution leverages the community and engagement with personalized metrics and convenience.
Think of a software version of Mirror that directly connects consumers to human fitness professionals. Our solution offers consumers the flexibility of being able to work out both in and out of the gym, while still tracking their performance, with nothing more than one’s computer or mobile device (no additional hardware required). Plus, our solution is sold to fitness businesses, providing fitness professionals the ability to compete against A.I. fitness by offering the same level of data, along with true community engagement and motivation that comes from human connection.
Simply put, we provide fitness professionals the tools to fight back! Empowering fitness professionals to be able to offer the same level of convenience, flexibility, & data-driven metrics as AI fitness, without replacing them.
The potential exists to leverage the technology as means to incentivize and monitor employee and beneficiary participation in healthy activities. The resulting improvement in the health of employees presents an opportunity for health insurance companies to increase their margins through a reduction in poor health outcomes of the policyholders. Through the utilization of data analytics, health insurance companies can determine personalized approaches for patients based on health outcome combinations of various mental and physical health conditions with different exercise routine types, frequencies, and intensities. Additionally, the resulting improvements in the health and wellness of employees directly benefit their employers through increased productivity in the workplace.
A broader societal need will be addressed by the commercial opportunity present throughout this technological innovation. The potential ability to match numerous data sets from targets in various locations in real-time will allow for future development in areas of agriculture, search and rescue, environmental services, sports, and recreation as well as a myriad of other applications.
NO child ever says I want to be a CEO/entrepreneur when I grow up. What did you want to be and how did you get where you are today?
Jennifer Strout: Some options I dreamed of as a young child were to be a crossing guard, ballet teacher, lawyer. I took a non-linear path to where I am today but it was filled with lessons that I have applied to my current tech startup. I also believe that my current startup is the intersection of many of my past professions.
Tell us something about yourself that others in your organization might be surprised to know.
Jennifer Strout: I was raised by my grandparents since age 4.
Many readers may wonder how to become an entrepreneur but what is an entrepreneur? How would you define it?
Jennifer Strout: An entrepreneur is someone who carves his or her own path and creates the solutions that the world requires.
What is the importance of having a supportive and inclusive culture?
Jennifer Strout: Research has demonstrated that a more diverse workforce results in better creativity and higher revenue. The following is a list of our company principles:
- growth mindset;
- thirst for knowledge;
- active learning;
- ask questions;
- remember we are human- self-care and empathy are crucial aspects of success;
- seek diverse perspectives
- identify and challenge biases
- consider the impossible – innovate & iterate
How can a leader be disruptive in the post covid world?
Jennifer Strout: True innovators are always thinking steps ahead as well as of alternative paths. While my startup’s solutions work extremely well despite COVID, the ideas were pre-covid because the need was there. Leaders need to also take into account the balance between the human element and the technological ones. What appears at first to be a great business solution is not always the best societal one.
If a 5-year-old asked you to describe your job, what would you tell them?
Jennifer Strout: I help fitness instructors to teach their students from anywhere- even if they are not in the same place. And I help them to do that job better by using traffic light colors to tell them if the student is doing a good job during the class.
Leaders are usually asked about their most useful qualities but let’s change things up a bit. What is your most useless talent?
Jennifer Strout: As with most things, one can usually find a positive and negative side to things. The word ‘talent’ itself has a somewhat positive connotation. I have a knack for remembering random statistics after reading/hearing them once, which is generally useless unless a topic comes up in conversation for which I have a data point for.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, we do have one more question. If you wrote a book about your life until today, what would the title be?
Jennifer Strout: ‘Grit’
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Jennifer Strout for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Jennifer Strout or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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