Features - Entrepreneurial Alumni
Posted 01 July 2015
August 2010 Intake
Benjamin D'Innocenzo (August 2010 MBA - London), a Hobart and William Smith Colleges graduate, is just coming to the end of his time as Business Development Advisor for Peace Corps in Cameroon. During his time there, this multi-talented and extremely dedicated alum has been extremely busy developing and launching TravelTrainer - a fitness mobile app for iOS and Android that helps make staying fit while travelling a breeze. Benjamin explains how he and his team have designed an algorithm that generates unique full body weight workouts at one tap of the screen, taking the effort out of deigning a customized exercise routine. The app keeps track of your progress, allows you to learn more about individual exercises, and guides your workout from start to sweat!
The busy and demanding schedule of a full time Mountbatten trainee requires work at your host institution and lots of time spent studying and writing. This does not leave much time for exercise or planning workouts. The seed for TravelTrainer was planted during my time on Mountbatten, with so many wonderful places to visit in and around London, my workouts occasionally suffered. This was even more emphasized during my time as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Central Africa. Many workout apps either require extra equipment, internet, or are very complex. We worked to simplify our product to be streamlined, easy to use, feature rich and offline; so the app can always be there for you, even when you may be off the beaten track!
I worked with a fellow Peace Corps volunteer on designing the user interface and thealgorithm that would be used to generate our wonderful workouts, and partnered with a friend in Bangalore to help with the back end coding. Not very easy to code and test an app from the wilds of the rainforest in Cameroon, but we managed to work at it slowly over time.
At this point, our main goal is to break even, and possibly become profitable! Inspired by my Peace Corps service, we give back 10% of what we take to projects working to improve health and wellness for disenfranchised groups. Through working with Peace Corps, I hope we can connect with some wonderful projects helping to make a small contribution that will yield big changes.
I would encourage anyone interested in starting something on their own to do just that! Get started. There are minimal barriers to entry in regards to time or money for many new ventures, and it can be a whole lot of fun
to scale the learning curve for a project that is maybe a little out of your comfort zone.
We all wish Benjamin every success with this new venture. Like his facebook page for all updates!