Senior business students Sara Glaser and Madison Lewandowski are making it easier than ever for children to have fun while remaining physically active with Fearless Fitness Kids, a student-led startup developing an interactive, story-based video game that requires users to work out as they play.
“Parents need a convenient way to keep their kids active and get their energy out, so we’re creating a game where the core mechanic is exercise,” said Glaser.
The Fearless Fitness video game creates a positive experience with exercise, helping children to develop and improve their muscle strength, cardiorespiratory health, coordination and fine motor skills — all while having fun.
The idea for Fearless Fitness originated in November 2019 at Startup Marathon, a 54-hour long event hosted by Cal Poly Entrepreneurs in which student innovators work through the weekend to build out a startup idea.
“I came to this event not knowing anyone and almost left because it was a little overwhelming,” Glaser recounted. “But I stayed and pitched an idea — originally for a different concept, but it was related to fitness.”
At Startup Marathon, Glaser met co-founder Lewandowski, who pitched a concept similar to Glaser’s.
“Long story short, we combined ideas and formed a team,” said Glaser.
The founding team has since expanded to include biomedical engineering major Clayton Pelz and computer science major Emily O’Neal, who have worked together to code and animate the video game. Glaser is meanwhile responsible for the fitness-related content of the game, while Lewandowski is responsible for marketing.
The Hatchery, a CIE program designed to help Cal Poly students develop their startup ideas, has helped the Fearless Fitness team navigate the obstacles of the entrepreneurial journey.
“The Hatchery has been a tremendous help,” said Glaser. “There have been many times when we’ve been in a rut and we’ve been stuck, and they’ve helped us through that and given us a lot of great ideas.”
At this point in their startup growth, The Fearless Fitness team has released a simplified, eight-minute version of their video game for customer testing.
“We’ve gotten some really great feedback, which is very exciting,” said Glaser. “We’ve had a lot of teachers play it in their classrooms, a lot of parents having their kids play it, so that’s been really helpful.”
The team is also working to advance their technology, which will not only allow them to improve upon the current version of their video game, but to create and produce more games. Eventually, Glaser hopes to reach a point where Fearless Fitness is its own platform, where users subscribe month-to-month for access to a whole host of Fearless Fitness video games.
“Our games are story-based. People could play a game and then there would be a sequel game,” Glaser explained. “The story could continue.”
Glaser and her team recently brought their idea to Innovation Quest, an annual competition hosted by the CIE where Cal Poly students pitch their innovative business ideas and prototypes. Fearless won first place, and the team was awarded $15,000 in prize money that will be used to further fund their startup.