Regional Startups 3 MIN READ

With the rise of fitness tracking apps, activewear clothing and ‘cool’ wearables, jogging seems to have become increasingly popular in the mainstream over the last couple of years.

To keep minds entertained and away from thinking about what it most desires (sleep) while running is music. Although listening to a favourite track is enjoyable, however, anyone who’s done so while on the go can admit that it can feel distractingly awkward when the beat doesn’t match the pace, or vice versa.

Looking to allow joggers to create their own tailor-made tracks that match their running pace is Run Beat. Through an easy to use interface, joggers will be able to select their starting and peak running pace, which the app will process into a track that matches their speed.

The startup’s regional founder, Ben Harding, said the app’s purpose is to push its users to increase their running potential by having them match the pace of the music track they’re listening to; a factor which separates the app from other music fitness apps in the market.

Harding said that as an avid jogger, the idea for the app emerged while he was looking for a method to help push himself further physically while jogging.

“I also love jogging to music, but songs often have different paces that don’t always mesh, so this was a way to address that,” he said.

Once a user has inputed their pace levels, the app generates what Harding described as a “simple rhythmic beat”, which features percussion and other instruments lightly sprinkled on top.

“It will match your chosen running pace. So, say for a light run, the sound will take you slowly up then back down again, then for an energetic run you zip from your low to peak pace very quickly then pretty much stay there,” explained Harding.

The app’s algorithm also has a randomise feature, meaning that every minute or so a track will undergo a “subtle change” in the beat, as a way to ensure a track doesn’t become repetitive.

Acknowledging the other competing music apps for jogging in the market, Harding explained that both the randomise and self-serve feature of Run Beat are what sets it apart, as users will have an easier time pushing their fitness levels while enjoying the music.

“I’ve tried the others, and as often as not they don’t really work and often become quite distracting. There’s a real lag if you want to pick up or slow down pace. With Run Beat, you actually program it all yourself in an easier way which can help push your fitness,” said Harding.

Hoping to release the app this year, Harding joined the Australia Post Regional Pitchfest in Bendigo last year to network with the community and help prepare his idea for market. 

“I actually came onboard at the last minute, so I ended up basically writing my pitch on the back of a napkin and working out what my slides would be on the day. But I got a lot of help from the organisers there, who were so constructive and helpful, and even got a chance to do a practice pitch which really helped me too,” said Harding.

Harding added that the entire process led him to focus on the key elements of the app he needed to focus on while gaining vital insight into how he could sell his startup to investors and a target audience in future.

“The feedback I got from the panel was really excellent and I also made some fantastic contacts there before and after the pitch,” he said.

“It felt like a really warm and genuine atmosphere, where everyone wanted to just learn, have a go and have fun experiencing that moment.”

Taking a local and steady approach, Harding said he will look to continue developing and testing his app this year to prepare it for launch.

Image: Ben Harding. Source: Regional Pitchfest.

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