Sport should be fun, available and affordable for everyone, but today it’s not, which is why the two Umeå students Anton Karlsson and Venelin Tontchev have started a brand new company – a virtual sport center.
When Venelin Tontchev moved from Bulgaria to Sweden to take his master’s in IT-management, he noticed a big difference between the two cultures when it came to sport.
– People aren’t really more into sport in Bulgaria, but it’s much more common to practice multiple sports at a time there, he says.
His point of view appeared to be shared by his class- and roommate Anton Karlsson, and after a lot of discussions, the idea of Versafit was born.
– We realized that both of us were into many different sports, but experienced the current situation in Sweden is limiting for those who don’t want to practice just one sport, Venelin says.
Anton explains that the idea was partly based on how IKSU works and their system of having one card that gives you access to different sports.
– That is pretty unique for IKSU and with Versafit our goal is to give iksu’s freedom to every part of Sweden.
Anton describes Versafit as a calendar where members can see and attend different activities the sport clubs provide.
– At the platform you’ll be able to see where and when the activities will be held, costs and eventual gear necessities, for example if you’re going to play floorball you might need a stick.
Entrepreneurship takes a lot of effort, especially when you also study, train and work part time, like Anton and Venelin do. And starting their own company hasn’t been easy.
– The biggest challenge was to evolve the initial concept into what it is today. The idea was really unrefined in the beginning, and moving it into the real world posed several challenges we had to deal with one at a time, Venelin says.
The hard work has given results and the company has received positive response from several parts.
– Until recently, we had been accepted and coached by the Drivhuset business incubator (an organization, which guides entrepreneurs during the development of their company), but after they shut down, we applied to Uminova Innovation, one of the best incubators in Sweden, and recently got admitted. Sport clubs generally love the idea as well, a few of which have already joined us and have been really helpful in many ways, Anton says.
Read more in Vertex #4-2016.
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