More Than Just Meatheads: Former Stanford Football Players and Stanford Product Engineers Team Up to Design Revolutionary New Fitness Product
SomaSole offers solution for those looking to workout on the go
I am lucky enough to be one of the many talented mentors that students of the Stanford d.school can tap on their go-to-market journeys. This year, d.school Executive Director Bill Burnett brought SomaSole, created by four Stanford product design entrepreneurs (three of which are freshly graduated former Stanford football players) to my attention in the months leading up to graduation. Despite their collegiate-famous background, I was immediately struck by their humility- evident in their detailed and refreshingly user-centric design process. Through two years of testing and prototyping SomaSole, these youthful entrepreneurs had created an elegant, simple product that solves a complex need. I was impressed. Conveniently, I also happen to fit neatly into one of their target demographics- washed-up athletes turned business travelers, seeking clever ways to stay fit on the go.
Serving as the Crowdfunding Unicorn to Josh, Matt, John and Jordan has been an absolute blast. They approach getting SomaSole off the ground the way they’d approach a game- with infinite energy and enthusiasm. The guys bring complimentary and different expertise to the field, as well.
I am proud and excited to introduce you formally to SomaSole. SomaSole is a patent-pending, slip-on device that works with any pair of shoes, anywhere, taking resistance band training to the next level.
SomaSole is designed by athletes trained for decades, but accessible to fitness fans of any level. Despite coming to life in the epic-center of connected tech in Palo Alto, SomaSole is a refreshingly analog entry into the fitness space. It reminds us that there is still room to innovate and create products not connected to our smartphones, that Bluetooth isn’t the only key to better bodies.
When SomaSole head of Research and Development John Flacco showed his brother, NFL Quarterback Joe Flacco, he “knew [SomaSole] was something different.”
I think we can trust Joe knows a bit about working out on the go.
The team formed around the central idea that work out facilities in most small gyms (hotels, apartments etc.) just don’t cut it. SomaSole weighs less that 3 pounds and can fit in your pocket or purse. Matt Kasner, the team’s CTO & Cofounder, learned to sew and started making SomaSole prototypes two years ago.
“I pushed the limit on both the sewing machines and myself. You can’t let stereotypes hold you back,” Kasner says confidently of his sewing experience.
User research confirmed that people “prefer to strap in to a product rather than merely strapping on.” This increased sense of security is one of the big differentiators of SomaSole. Each of SomaSole’s components are hand selected for optimum performance.
“Our team mimics our product. Our backgrounds are unique and SomaSole offers an array of workout options for the diverse SomaSole community. We work together seamlessly, and SomaSole reflects that by being intuitive and easy to use. We get the job done and so does SomaSole,” says Flacco of the group’s synergy.
The SomaSole team is looking to raise 50,000 on Indiegogo over the next 30 days and is off to an explosive start. Support their campaign to improve your beach bod, and tweet @SomaSole and let these talented, young entrepreneurs know what you think!