Hydrohex, the digital generation of aqua fitness; How I got involved in an internationally growing fitness brand?
This is the story of how my life and studies brought me together with a rising startup company named Hydrohex and how we got from our parents’ garage to a globally considerable business concept. How I ended up a part of a rising startup company Hydrohex, in the midst of my studies and hobbies?
When I look back at my life two years before now, I would never have believed that I was to be part of the daily journey of a startup company. I had just started my second semester at Turku University of Applied Sciences, as a major in Entrepreneurship. Until then, my main focus had always been my beloved hobby, football. At that time, I had just finished an unlucky football season, involving a serious knee injury and I was in the middle of a long rehabilitation process. For the first time in my life, I had the chance to focus on something else, and Business Academy attracted my interest in entrepreneurship. Due to both that, and my simultaneous familiarization with aquatic rehabilitation, I became interested in the new startup company called Hydrohex that was aiming to bring water workouts to the 2020s. Thanks to a great friend of mine, I met the founders of Hydrohex and after one meeting, I was craving to join the team that was about to conquer the world.
For the first time in my life, I had the chance to focus on something else, and Business Academy attracted my interest in entrepreneurship
From boring and old-fashioned aquatic exercise to an aesthetic and schedule-free workout concept for the modern individual
Hydrohex is an on-demand virtual water workout concept that provides schedule-free experiences for the modern-world customer. Our business model is based on renting workout software together with suitable hardware to businesses owning swimming pools. But how did we end up selling virtual workout programs to swimming pools?
The CEO and Co-Founder of Hydrohex, Tommi Wallenius, has a long background as an aqua fitness instructor. A couple of years ago, he started offering his self-made, modern group classes at swimming pools around Finland. He quickly noticed that people were eager to try his new and fresh training methods, but that they couldn’t find the time to attend them due to busy personal schedules. This was when he had the idea for Hydrohex. By creating a waterproof touchscreen platform packed with virtual classes, we were able to start providing customers with an immersive and individual workout service.
From our parents’ garage to a globally recognized product
In September 2018 we launched our first product, which included our software and a waterproof tablet with a holder. This setup was created in one of our team members’ parents’ garage. We started selling it fearlessly to companies around Finland. We knew our product was nowhere near ready, but we also knew we had to bring it to the market fast. We started contacting the biggest players in Finland and won them over. Thanks to these first important partnerships with market-leading swimming halls and spas, we got valuable feedback on our product that helped us develop our product further, in the right direction.
We started contacting the biggest players in Finland and won them over
Now, at the beginning of 2020, we have increased our sales traction from 6 clients in 2018 to 50 clients in Finland, which is over 800% in growth. More importantly, we have managed to create a market for the digital aqua fitness that people love! With a wide national reach, Hydrohex provided over 115,000 individual virtual workout sessions in Finland during the year 2019. The first international customers in the Nordic countries and Central Europe have now also adopted the service and during the spring of 2020, the company will focus on rapid expansion in the UK, with the first pilots already underway.
Entrepreneurship is all about bravery and hard work
During my short period as part of this growing company, I have realized that entrepreneurship needs bravery and hard work more than anything else. Every single day you need to convince new and old people to believe in your product and you cannot do it any other way than by facing them. There is a lot of uncertainty in the daily operations of a startup company, especially in one focusing on rapid international growth. You simply need to deal with it, move forward and believe in the direction the company is heading in. Through leading by example and showing true passion and belief for what you do, people around you soon start believing as well.
I have realized that entrepreneurship needs bravery and hard work more than anything else
Despite all uncertainty and the problems you face (every single day), seeing your hard work pay off and turn into the company’s development, truly makes every drop of sweat worthwhile. As an entrepreneur, you will learn something new and grow as a person every day, which is something I sincerely recommend everyone to strive for.
After this amazing year, I can honestly say that anything is possible, as long as you focus on the right things with the right kind of attitude. With brave and hard-working people around you, the ability to react fast to the feedback you receive, and with a clear persistent vision of your goal in mind, the possibilities of a startup company can be huge. These cornerstones have at least worked quite well for our team so far, even though the work has only just begun…