For weeks, there was a black scale at the entrance of the co-working space at The Hague Tech. Behind the scale was a poster with the blue and yellow branding of a company, Sinque. But if you took the time to step on the scale, something odd would happen. It wouldn’t show you your weight! You would only see a few digital symbols that indicate the scale is working, but if it’s working, where’s your weight?
We sat down to talk with Renato Romani, MD to find out just what his company is working on and the societal impact they are pushing. Renato is a typical Hague Tech member, meaning he’s entirely atypical. The son of a Czech mother and an Italian father, Renato was born in Brazil and moved to the Netherlands because of his wife who is Dutch. A type of story that gets more common the more time you spend around THT’s community.
Renato joined THT after participating in Rockstart’s acceleration program where he met THT member Hans van Leeuwen who would later become an investor and mentor to Sinque. Renato has been working on his company for five years now with operations spanning Brazil, the US, and now the Netherlands.
When talking to Renato, his ability to captivate you and tell a story is incredible. And it starts to make a lot of sense when you find out that he was an assistant professor for the Federal University in Brazil where he was a public face, who did a vast array of media appearances across TV, print, and radio.
So, about that scale without a number, what exactly is Sinque? Sinque, as Renato puts it, is “just a better way to track weight.” Weight is a dynamic measure, yet we represent it in a single number. Our weight changes throughout the day, just like we do. It can be misleading to see your weight as just one number and incredible demotivating if you aren’t getting the correct information about your struggles to lose weight. Sinque is learning each user’s range of weight and creating a better way to represent weight fluctuation and weight loss.
But why weight loss, why obesity? Renato is full of facts and figures, saying “eight and obesity is the bottom line for more than 30 diseases” and that 50% of workers in developed countries need to lose weight. Renato is a sports medicine doctor who has struggled with his weight since he left university and has both a personal and societal mission with Sinque. He knows it’s not just about knowing that there is a problem but that it’s about creating a real solution that can help change behavior. “I know a lot about cells, physiology, whatever, it doesn’t really matter. In the end, I want to eat pizza, didn’t have the time to think about it, it’s a behavior,” and one that he hopes Sinque can drive a change in. Renato smiles and gets excited when telling stories of overweight people stepping on the scales and smiling, actually enjoying the experience of using a scale.
There’s over 250,000 health applications available to download today. What makes Sinque different? Because those applications are focused on motivated people who are already fit. Solutions such as Fitbit are being used by people wanting to improve their fitness or maintaining their current level, not overweight individuals who need to for medical reasons. Renato is even traveling soon to Brazil where a big company has decided to go with Sinque’s solution over Fitbit.
Renato knows he doesn’t have an easy task in front of him, saying “we need to prove that we are right and that is hard, it’s not like ‘Renato is a nice guy, good smile’, doesn’t change anything.” The goal now is to prove their concept and to truly scale within the market. Sinque is a tool for professionals, helping them see if their clients are reaching their goals in an easy and non confrontational way. It’s a painful process trying to grow a company, something Renato is very aware of but his believe in their ability to help drives him everyday, even when it’s difficult. Renato calls it his “crusade”, one where he is the right person to fight for the cause and effect real change in our society.
If you’d like to learn more about Sinque, you can visit their website here or connect with Renato on LinkedIn. Interested in joining The Hague Tech or any one of our great events? Visit the website to learn more!