Home » Episode #438: Betting on Fitness-Exploring Wunup’s Unique Gamification Approach with Blake Richards

Live from the floor of the March 2023 IHRSA Trade Show in San Diego, host Pete Moore interviews Blake Richards formerly with Nike as a Senior Data Quality Analyst, then Senior Global Membership Ops Process Coordinator and now as the Founder of Wunup.

Wunup is a one-of-a-kind app that dives into world of gamification and peer-to-peer challenges in the fitness industry. Blake shares his journey from working at Nike to creating his own company, and how the culture and innovation at Nike influenced his entrepreneurial pursuits. From linking up with Apple Health and Stripe to creating challenges and inviting friends, Blake reveals the inner workings of his fun new tool.

With regard to the challenges and accountability for fitness between friends he states, "One thing we'd focus on is accountability, and it was through friends doing different challenges. Basically we would just be using Venmo. I was gifted an Apple Watch and we were all doing these challenges competing for things like Chick-fil-A and bragging rights and we asked ourselves if there's anything else out there? It was from that point where we just kind of started."

Some key moments:

  • Nike taught him about company motivation and diversity. Starting a business requires research and learning.
  • Democratizing a platform for group challenges.
  •  Link Apple Health, Strava, etc . . .create a Stripe account, and start challenge! 

  • Art and science project that drives market. Embed into existing competitions for partnerships. Donation component for positive perception.

A few key takeaways: 

  1. Wunup allows users to wager between friends with their own money as a reward, making it unique among other fitness platforms.
  2. Before starting Wunup, Blake worked at Nike for two years, where he gained valuable insights into company culture, innovation, and the importance of hiring people with diverse backgrounds. He also learned about achieving excellence and execution at the highest level.
  3. Blake's desire to improve processes and tell the story of athletes led him to start his own company. He emphasizes the importance of taking the time to learn from other companies and industries before diving into entrepreneurship.
  4. Blake's experience with accountability and fitness challenges among friends, using Venmo as a platform, inspired him to create Wunup as a more comprehensive and gamified fitness solution.
  5. Wunnup connects to Apple Health and Stripe and allows users to create fitness challenges with their friends. Challenges can be based on activities like running, walking, cycling, swimming, or calorie tracking. Users can wager money on these challenges, adding a competitive element to their fitness goals.

Click here to download transcript.  

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