How did this get started?
Obi: I’ve been doing nutrition coaching for about 2 years, and that started through the barbell club which is this organization that I started and Keith was also one of the founding members. We do nutrition coaching for people, not asking money for it, just because we like doing it. With that approach, as a human, you can really only take on so many people at a time. A lot of people really wanted to take advantage of it. You can’t really spread yourself thin so we needed to find a way to scale ourselves and help as many people as we can so that came to be the idea itself, to automate the whole thing.
And how did the rest of the team get involved?
Stephen: So Obi, reached out to Seth and I, regarding an app. We met with him at the top step of the Culc, just really casually at the time. And it was just an instant match, personality wise and skill wise. It worked out.
Is this the route you guys saw yourselves going?
Keith: For me yes, but not this quickly, I always knew I didn’t want to work for someone my whole life. Like I just went along with it for a little while until I had an idea… And then one day I had like an epiphany while I was working. I hit up Obi, you remember that? I had one of my worst days at work, and I cried to Obi about it. Then we talked about what eventually became FitGenie.
Seth: For me, it was kind of similar, 4 years ago I would have never thought that I’d be turning down really great engineering firms to work full time for my own startup, I personally always wanted more from things, If I’m in a class, personally I haven’t always been satisfied with the extent that we cover stuff theoretically… I think I’ve been impatient, I’ve wanted to get out there and actually reach people sooner… Worst case scenario, it fails and it blows up in your face and then you move one.
Is there anything else you think I should know?
Obi: I will say this, addressing freshmen coming in. When I first came to Georgia Tech I had no clue about startups being a viable career path. I’m a mechanical engineer, I graduated that. Keith graduated EE. All of the stuff that we’re doing, machine learning, and data mining, and Artificial Intelligence, that’s entirely self-taught this Summer. I guess what I’m getting at is that Georgia Tech, it’s a tough school, but it kind of teaches you that you can bootstrap and figure things out as you go.
Seth: You made it happen, though. We made it happen. That’s why I love this entrepreneurial culture. Where, there’s some other places I’ve been where it’s like, hey we have this idea, what if we do that. And sometimes the response will be, “ohh I don’t know how to do that.” And the conversation often just ends there. But here, with these entrepreneurs and Tech graduates doing awesome things, it’s like “hey I’ve got this really great idea, that can really help a lot of people, I don’t know where to start.” Awesome, challenge accepted, let’s do this.
This Q&A was edited for content