Brother Helps Create Startup to Connect People Through Exercise By Stephen Lee (Lewis, '10)
Today’s college campus is a goldmine for exercise. You’re surrounded by fitness facilities, gyms and intramural fields.
But is it really the physical space that makes college such a great fitness environment?
Manuel Rivas (UTRGV, ‘07), a member of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity, believes there is another important ingredient: access to friends.
When folks migrate away from the college campus, they are often surprised by how isolated their new life can be. No longer are your friends in the next dorm, or a few blocks away.
The same is true for older adults looking for buddies to help them stay fit.
That’s where brother Rivas’ new mobile app comes into play. It’s called FitRec, and it empowers people to connect with others in their area who have the same fitness interests.
Image: Advertising for FitRec.
Say your mother loves to walk, both for fitness and socializing, but she has trouble finding someone with similar availability.
She can pull up FitRec and scan for nearby walkers. After viewing multiple user profiles, she can connect with potential walking-partners, all through the mobile app!
Perhaps you’re an athlete whose fitness level is advanced. You can search and connect with nearby athletes with similar fitness levels and interests.
How did this idea come about?
An emergency-room nurse in the D.C. area noticed many of his patients’ injuries could have been prevented with regular exercise, thus saving time and money. This nurse, Michael Anthony Bustillos, set out to solve this problem by "reinventing how we connect with others to achieve our fitness goals and maintain healthier and active lives”.
Image: A look at the App.
Bustillos created FitRec, and recruited Brother Rivas as his Chief Operating Officer. The startup has been featured on local television news stations and is looking to expand to additional cities.
Executive Vice President of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity, Robert Riggs (RPI, ’02) said "It's so inspiring to see brothers like Manny Rivas take action to solve a social issues. Brother Rivas' work to develop a solution that engages like-minded individuals to improve their health and well-being is an example of brothers serving society in a meaningful way.”
Brother Rivas (right) serving at a Phi Kappa Theta 2017 Regional
Leadership Conference in Texas. He is joined with Brother Carlos Nichols
(University of Texas–Pan American, '14) (far left) and Brother Adrian
Gonzalez (University of Texas-Austin Texas, '78) (middle).
The FitRec mobile app is following a similar pattern as Industry, a startup co-founded by brother Cody Barbo (SDSU, ‘12). That pattern is to build a base in the host city, then branch out to other targeted cities.
To get started with FitRec, download the mobile app:
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