At enduco, we work towards enabling everyone to reach their personal goal in the best, healthy way by providing value through software, based on the latest scientific findings and being affordable for everyone.
First it was called “train me”, then train AI, and finally, Lennard came up with “enduco”.
The first time I had the idea "What we are doing here must be possible to do with smart algorithms!” was about mid/end of 2016: During my master studies (Sports Science) in Saarbrücken, Germany, I had to do an internship abroad (Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK) with a fellow student. During this internship, after a discussion about our professional future, the idea of self-employment came to us. We wanted to offer endurance training via an online platform, which we quickly put into practice after our stay in England. Among many other "learnings" there was one thing: A trainer can, even with tools such as online platforms, only really adequately coach a limited number of athletes. So "scaling", as it is called in the start-up world, was not an option.
Years before, during my bachelor studies in Karlsruhe, Germany, I was a more active triathlete myself and was allowed to start for the SSC Karlsruhe in the 3rd and 2nd state league. (I seem to remember that we were promoted to the 1st league, but the club didn't care, so that the necessary funds were not made available). Towards the end of my studies in Karlsruhe I had increasing problems with an injury in my foot, where no doctor or physiotherapist could help me, and I ended my "career" at the beginning of my time in Saarbrücken. As I now know, the cause was simply the wrong ratio of training & resting - the second point that was involved in the development of the idea for what is now enduco.
Towards the end of my master's degree, I started looking for computer scientists who could and wanted to help me implement my - admittedly at that time not yet thought through - idea. Easier said than done: It took more than a year until I finally came across Gerrit who, as I know today, was only present at the meeting by chance and simply had nothing much better to do at that time. He quickly brought Philipp (Phil) on board, who is now head of IT at enduco. So the three of us got down to work. The first website was a huge step for me, even though it didn't look good from today's perspective and offered almost no functions. (At that time, we were still thinking about a web application, but then decided on a "mobile-only" solution, because I think this is where the future lies) After a good year of development time with the three of us, I slowly realized that the IT front seemed to be overwhelmed with the amount of tasks (as a non-IT person, you always imagine things to be easier than they actually are), so it was very fitting that I met Lennard at a lecture on finance. He wasn't an IT person (and still isn't), but I told him that he can do an internship with us where he was in charge of design and branding, even though his department is actually the finance department.
It soon became clear that this would be more than just an internship (during this time he also came up with the name "enduco" and designed the logo) and so we brought him on board as another co-founder. As chance would have it, he had a friend who was a computer scientist. In short: Benedict (Bene) made the founding team complete shortly after and we all continued to work alongside our studies or jobs.
After about 9 months of experience in another start-up, I started a job as a start-up consultant at the University of Saarbrücken and told my then boss that we wanted to submit an EXIST application with enduco. EXIST is a grant from the German government that enables selected teams to spend a year on the foundation project with about 130.000€/year (for everyone, not for every individual). Of course I had to quit my job at the university for this.
Equipped with some start-up capital, we were now able to concentrate more or less fully on enduco and after about 6 months we were able to present a first version of today's light version, with which we started to raise further investor funds. Because one thing was clear: it would still take some time before we would generate revenues that would pay for themselves. After many ideas, discussions and refusals, we were able to convince a seed investor of us and our project at the beginning of 2020 - enduco GmbH was founded.
From then on, time flew by until today (November 2020). Within about 6 weeks, we held job interviews and expanded the team (including all working students and interns) to 19 people at times, who worked at full throttle on the implementation of the project and were always contributing ideas themselves and still do. The office at the university, which we had been provided with during the EXIST funding period, is being replaced by a larger one in the city (I am writing this text in my home office, of course) and through various tests in marketing we got (and still get) more and more users, whose feedback we absorb like a dry sponge.
Because without user feedback, we run the risk of simply "missing the user". To avoid this we are currently, in November 2020, developing the Pro Version with initially 100 testers in a beta test. In the next step we will invite more testers before we release the Pro version for everyone.
The Pro version is the closest to the original idea I had for enduco. And even though - and precisely because - this idea has been significantly developed by everyone else in the team, it feels like a big step for us.
Saarbrücken, 3.11.2020 (to be continued)
We will continue to write this text, just as the story of and with enduco continues.
We change the way people experience endurance sports. #teamenduco