California Lutheran University startup Rep Watch has qualified to compete for the chance to win $100,000 at the Arizona State University Innovation Open on April 2, 2017.
Rep Watch is a startup dedicated to helping people through the physical therapy process.
Cal Lutheran students Robert Kyler, Blair Martin, John Ikudaisi and recent graduate Alexis Schomer created the startup Rep Watch last year during Startup Weekend. They presented their idea to a panel of judges who awarded them $10,000.
Since then, the startup has won about $40,000 in capital and prizes, Kyler said.
“Rep Watch is a compression sleeve that you put on your joints. It measures how many times you flex your joints and its connected to an app on your phone that keeps track,” Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship Michael Panesis said.
This information is given to a patient’s physical therapist in order to show their progress.
“It connects patients with their physical therapists in a way that is more personal. It really hasn’t been done before.” Martin said. “With Rep Watch, you’re going to be able to connect with your physical therapist and you can have those interactions at home so the therapist knows you’re doing it and you know you’re doing it correctly.”
Kyler said he believes that physical therapy is important, but not always enjoyable.
“I just want to help people get better. When I was younger, I didn’t do my physical therapy and I wasn’t complying with my exercises. Hopefully, we can motivate people to have a more fun experience with their physical therapy process,” Kyler said.
Martin said he wishes that Rep Watch could have helped him when he broke his back playing soccer in high school.
“I had to go to physical therapy for a year to get rehab so I know first hand how difficult it is to keep up with any physical therapy regimen at home.” Martin said. “Something like this would have helped me keep up with therapy.”
Martin believes that Rep Watch will impact many lives.
“This is something I believe in because I think it’s going to work and help people and help the world,” Martin said.
Kyler said, only about 30 percent of people attend their physical therapy sessions. In order to encourage more people to participate in physical therapy, Kyler and Martin said they believe Rep Watch is the best solution.
Panesis said those interested in changing the world around them should take the entrepreneurship classes offered at Cal Lutheran.
“Entrepreneurship is about wanting to change the world. It’s not necessarily about wanting to start a business. We want every Cal Lutheran student to think that way,” Panesis said.
“We offer an entrepreneurship minor that is open to any major. We don’t care what your major is. We want you to major in what you’re passionate about. We’ll help you figure out what to do with it [the minor] out in the world,” Panesis said.
According to the Cal Lutheran Center for Entrepreneurship website, “A thriving start-up community relies on the willingness of its members to contribute without expectation of return. Involvement in the community should yield a return, you just don’t know when or where.”
The students behind Rep Watch said they are determined to make a difference in people’s lives who are injured and need rehabilitation. Kyler and Martin know first-hand how people often struggle in physical therapy. They said they are passionate about changing the world for the better, and hope to win the ASU Innovation Open in order to continue developing the product.