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How Two Companies Became One

Mike Wuest and his wife Kim at their home gym, CrossFit COMO

This journey has been an interesting one…filled with twists, turns, pivots, and improvements. This one falls squarely into the “improvements” category.

The Origin

Before UpLaunch came to be, there was a company called Run Your Gym. Started by Jake Johnson and myself in 2013, we developed a proof-of-concept platform that we called BoxBuilder. Our goal was to help people like Jake (owner-operator of an independent fitness facility) manage their leads and clients more effectively by leveraging technology.

Once we got some software built that actually worked, we had a grand vision: we were going to take these philosophies that worked well for fitness professionals and apply them to ANY industry. More is always better, right?


Hint: Interestingly, I talk about learning this lesson in a blog post a number of years ago. I think I learn things the hard way sometimes…

In order to deploy our awesome-sauce software platform far and wide, we needed to be able to branch out of only working in the fitness space. Turns out, the name “Run Your Gym” kind of paints you into a corner…so we became UpLaunch.

Enter Mike Wuest, owner of CrossFit COMO and TheBoxBusiness. Mike has his roots in the food service industry, where brand loyalty is fleeting, the customer experience is everything, and those that forget those points aren’t able stick around very long to lament their mistakes.

Some of CrossFit COMO’s incredible community

In other words, just the right philosophy to take what we started with Run Your Gym and BoxBuilder and turn it into something amazing.

The Growth

Our plan was to facilitate this multi-industry growth by bringing on partners. These partners would be subject-matter-experts in their fields with a good grasp on marketing automation best practices, and would be able to build a product on the UpLaunch Platform and distribute it to the world!

So naturally, we knew that Mike was the best person to be Partner #1. In other words, to take BoxBuilder and ensure that it continued to thrive.

Well, we were right about Mike. He took what we had started, re-built it from the ground up to better reflect his vision, and stacked the group with an amazing new cohort of top-tier gym owners.

Mike, hard at work during a work session in Gettysburg, PA.

While he was doing that, we were prepping our platform to be able to not just handle the fitness space, but any space that came our way.

Although we HAVE steadily increased the value that we deliver for gym owners, our quest to simultaneously provide a purpose-built experience for other industries proved to be more of a distraction than a benefit.

The reality is this: people in the fitness industry were getting massive value from the UpLaunch Platform, other industries were slow to catch on, and we were gradually getting away from focusing on the people who gave us our start: gym owners and fitness professionals.

The Focus

It was time to get back to our roots. To focus on fitness professionals — the group who supported us in the early days when our platform sucked, who gave us advice on how to best serve them, and who were in turn able to leverage our software to improve their businesses.

But with the dissolution of the UpLaunch Partner Program, how would we structure our relationship with Mike and TheBoxBusiness?

Easy. We got married.

I’m proud to announce that TheBoxBusiness is now officially part of UpLaunch! Watch our video:

The entire team at UpLaunch is super grateful to have Mike as part of our team. He’ll be heading up Client Success, making sure that gym owners and fitness professionals around the world are getting the most value from the UpLaunch Platform as possible.

If you’re an UpLaunch client, you don’t need to do anything different. You’ll gradually see some branding changes here and there, some new content, and a feature pipeline that is MUCH more in-tune with the needs of the fitness community.

We’re excited to be on this path — at the end of the day, sometimes you need to zoom out just a touch too far in order to realize where you belong.

We are UpLaunch. The smartest way to build your fitness business.

And we’re excited to serve you.



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Matt Verlaque

Matt Verlaque

Founder @ High Speed Ventures, fmr CEO @ UpLaunch (acq. 2020). Husband, father of 3 young boys, triathlete, nerdy-nerd.