Wednesday, April 17, 2024

App created by ODU grads wants to help you find the perfect workout partner

The new Gymmie app is making finding a gym buddy easy as users can swipe to match with others of similar fitness interest. (Courtesy of Jack Chacon and Max Hall)

NORFOLK — Finding an ideal workout partner can be a hefty struggle, but two Old Dominion University graduates have created an app that will do the heavy lifting for you.

With the launch of Gymmie in March, Jack Chacon and Max Hall have created an easy way for fitness buffs to find a partner or spotter who’s prepared to pump iron on their level.

According to Hall, the app allows users to log on using their Facebook accounts and create a profile where they can list their workout plan, intensity, and schedule. Then, other users can match based on their own specific fitness preferences.

The concept for Gymmie stemmed from Chacon, who transferred to ODU around three years ago. While at Virginia Tech he had a consistent group of gym partners, but at ODU he found it tough to link up with people because of conflicting schedules or workout styles.

“I wanted to try and make an app that would make it easy to find a gym partner that wanted to do the same type of things as me and wanted to do it around the same time,” said Chacon.

While both men are new to the industry, they have had their fair share of work in entrepreneurship.

Hall was already adept in startups, having already co-founded a digital service called CampusWise, a website that allows college students to securely buy and sell textbooks at fair prices to other students.

(Left to Right) Founders of the Gymmie app, ODU grads Max Hall and Jack Chacon. (Courtesy of Max Hall and Jack Chacon

Chacon has been working on different projects throughout college and honing various skills in the process. According to the Norfolk native, one of his most notable projects was his time working with Culture Snack Magazine, an online publication that highlights culture, food, and arts within the Hampton Roads area.

“It was a fun experience, and it got me experience with managing people,” Chacon said. “I’ve always thought of every project I’ve worked on as further practice for the next project, and I’ve tried to slowly work my way towards different types of projects in different industries.”

After joining forces and coming up with the Gymmie concept, Chacon said he and his partner began building their team in spring of 2016, which he acknowledged as one of the hardest parts.

Following months of piecing together their app-making puzzle and releasing their beta version in the fall, the duo was ready to launch their revamped creation — with a desire to adapt to user preferences.

According to Hall, Gymmie is available in the Apple App Store and his team is working on making the app Android-compatible as well.

As they continue to refine Gymmie, both founders have their eyes set on potential monetizing opportunities in the future, including ads and licensing usage with universities and fitness facilities.

“There are so many ways we can go with it,” Chacon said, adding that the duo has not fully decided yet.

Since both men graduated from ODU in early May, they have been preparing to start their careers. Chacon will be working in sales management for Pepsi Co. in Nashville, while Hall will begin an internship at Verizon in New Jersey, with hopes of full-time position.

Hall and Chacon plan to continue their work on Gymmie and other apps in the future, utilizing their new locations to build their network in the process.

“We’re going to be entrepreneurs no matter what,” Chacon said. “It’s like a compulsion type of thing. It’s our personality crack, we can’t not work on projects. Our whole goal is to support ourselves with jobs, but to try and pick jobs that allow us to also work on projects easily.”

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