Former Epic project manager Seth Braddock took more than 30 business trips in eight months. Always an athlete, he found it difficult to stay in shape with the rigorous travel schedule. Small, crowded hotel gyms didn’t give him the workout he wanted, and other fitness studios in the area had pricey drop-in rates or memberships with long commitments.
After finding that there are 40 million frequent business travelers in the United States, Braddock saw an opportunity to find a solution for staying fit when traveling.
Earlier this year Braddock created Kilter, an online service that provides travelers with individual and bundled deals to gyms, exercise studios and lifestyle boutiques based on user preferences and location. The word Kilter, by definition, means “in good condition.” The company strives to provide people with ease, convenience and affordability to continue their normal workout and lifestyle routines while on the road.
“By using Kilter, professionals will be able to remain in good condition wherever their travels take them,” Braddock said.
The online platform allows professionals on the road to create accounts, customize their settings and choose deals close to where they’re traveling.
Kilter deals are typically discounted between 20-30 percent from the original gym prices. The fitness businesses choose the types of deals they want to offer and have control over the type, price and quantity of all deals. The deals can range from one time drop-ins to week-long passes.
The company also is in the process of creating Kilter Corporate, an employee benefits program in which corporations can add funds to their Kilter account and have employees draw from the fund to access workouts when they are traveling.
“We want to prove that (corporations) paying for employee fitness will keep employees happier and healthier, thus improving productivity levels at work and reducing health issues,” Braddock said. “The return on investment is worth it to the corporation.”
Braddock currently connects with the gyms by speaking with owners in person.
“It’s a lot of grunt work right now, but we will have our optimized site up with merchant accounts soon,” Braddock said. The company is working on creating an online sign-up for gyms to participate.
While the primary market is frequent business travelers, Kilter doesn’t discriminate on who is allowed to use the service.
“If UW students are looking for a short-term deal for trying a new and exciting workout, we encourage them to purchase a deal from us,” Braddock said.
Entrepreneurship isn’t new to Braddock. In college he founded Boozely— a platform that shares the best liquor and beverage deals in Madison–but decided to shut it down.
“I learned that if you’re truly passionate about your idea, you’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure it’s successful,” Braddock said, adding that he lacked passion with Boozely. “With Kilter, I’m making a difference in helping people lead healthier lives, which makes me even more excited about what I’m doing.”
Kilter is currently in the pilot phase, hosting deals in Madison. The company has secured 11 gyms and studio partners thus far and will be signing more Madison and Chicago locations in the coming months. Braddock hopes to expand nationally and eventually internationally.
The Kilter platform will officially launch in September, and Kilter Corporate will launch in November of this year.