Scott Lieberman, TapFit

TapFit is an easy way to find and book fitness classes from your mobile phone. Partnering with local gyms and fitness studios to offer discounted rates, TapFit allows users to decide exactly which classes they'll attend.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?
The idea for TapFit stemmed from the collective bad experiences of our founders with gym memberships. I moved from California to Chicago at the end of last year and tried to cancel my gym membership because of the move. In order to cancel, I had to physically come in to the gym, sit down with a salesperson, and fill out a long form explaining my reasons for leaving, in addition to paying an "early termination fee." On-demand mobile services are already disrupting multiple other industries—taxis, movie rentals, hotels—and we thought there was an opportunity to do the same thing in the fitness industry.

What local resources did you take advantage of and how did they help?
We are a part of the 2013 cohort of The Brandery, so we've been in Cincinnati since June. Since then, we've been overwhelmed by the tremendous support of the community. The Brandery is an amazing program, and we've learned a lot from the program's founding members, our mentors and all of the other companies working here. We also partnered with the amazing digital innovation partner Rockfish Interactive, who has helped us with everything from branding to the user interface of our mobile application. Last but not least, the people of Cincinnati have been awesome and extremely supportive—from 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab to people you meet on the street, everyone seems to genuinely want to help each other out.

What is the chief struggle you've faced starting a company?
Our chief struggle is also what makes working at a startup such a great experience, which is the fact that we get to wear many different hats. On any given day, I'm a mobile app developer, marketer, customer support rep and more. It's difficult to jump between those different tasks quickly, but it's something that, at the end of the day, feels very worthwhile. In starting a company, nothing is handed to you, and there is a direct correlation between how hard we work and our success. I feel very blessed to be partnered with two of the hardest-working guys I know.

What’s next for you and your company?
We're going to continue to expand here in Cincinnati, grow our client base and improve the deals we are able to give our customers. We are also in the process of piloting our corporate fitness program, which allows companies to use TapFit as a tool to improve employee health and well-being. After that, we're looking to expand to several other markets and continue to improve the product—we want to change the way people view working out and empower people to lead healthier lives.

Interview by Sean M. Peters