PWR Lab is the latest winner of Moonshot’s pitch with a portable information concept.
When Adam Stepanovic worked as a data scientist at a large tech company in Northern California, he saw a problem with the way the data collected by those companies was – and was not – used.
On the one hand, the wealth of information collected, analyzed and segmented to target end users, information essentially aggregated for “marketing and manipulation,” as Stepanovic put it.
Meanwhile, a lot of actionable data has been left out – information that, with the user’s consent, could be used to benefit both businesses and consumers.
“If we give individuals the power to choose who has access to their data and what they want in return for that access, it creates a balanced opportunity for businesses and customers,” he said.
With this philosophy, Stepanovic and his partners, computer engineer Chris Berthiaume and physiotherapist Jeff Moreno, founded PWR Lab four years ago. The company has developed a platform that aggregates “lived experience” data, primarily what is collected by devices like smartwatches and other wearable devices.
For example, a runner wearing a GPS-enabled smartwatch generates data that would tell a running shoe company how often that person runs and whether that activity occurs on trails or on the pavement. The geolocation information could identify the weather conditions prevailing in the area. All of these factors would allow the company to quickly and accurately identify the best products for that runner.
The customer would get timely advice on the perfect pair of running shoes and associated gear and apparel, while the valuable recommendations from the company would build brand affinity and customer loyalty.
In fact, it was a lived experience that led Stepanovic and his partners to the idea of using portable data to help both businesses and consumers.
“I had a running injury and saw Jeff as my physiotherapist,” he said. “We were wondering why it was so difficult to find the right equipment for runners and how useful it would be for Jeff, as a PT, to use the data collected from my smartwatch to help me prevent my injuries in the first place. “
PWR Lab is currently focusing on partnerships with brands in the sports sector, where information on the lived experience of wearables is particularly relevant. Current customers include: Brooks running shoes, Method Seven specialty optics, and the Fleet Feet chain of stores.
But, unlike most large tech companies, PWR Lab has a deep sense of responsibility to the people who generate the information.
“Data is collected anyway, if you have some type of digital device,” Stepanovic said. “Our company makes it easy to connect with brands and services that care enough about you to focus on how your data can benefit you as an individual.”
The PWR Lab platform makes it clear what data is being collected and individuals control whether that information is shared with a particular company.
Ultimately, the company plans to set the digital standard for wearable device data across a wider range of brands and consumer categories and not just those in the sports sector. The company estimates that currently up to 99% of the data value of portable devices remains untapped.
It was this potential that caught Moonshot’s attention at NACET, the Flagstaff-based entrepreneurial program.
PWR Lab moved to Flagstaff last year as Stepanovic and his family sought to escape the frequent wildfires and prohibitive housing costs of Northern California. The family knew Flagstaff through parents – Stepanovic’s sister-in-law is a city-based Olympic runner, and her husband, Mike Smith, runs the track program at Northern Arizona University.
Shortly after moving to Flagstaff, PWR Lab became a client of Moonshot and works in the program’s accelerator building on the North Gemini campus.
“Moving to Flagstaff was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made,” said Stepanovic. “The community is warm and dynamic. The environment is incomparable. Moonshot at NACET is the icing on the cake as it is a great place to grow a business with incredible support.
Admiration is mutual. Last month, PWR Lab won first prize in Moonshot’s annual Pioneer Pitch competition. He was one of 14 region-based startups who attended the event, which was judged by a panel of community actors, business mentors and Moonshot staff.
“We chose PWR Lab for the top prize because it is a forward thinking Moonshot idea that has unlimited future uses, builds on Flagstaff’s growing digital technology sector, and will create high paying jobs. in northern Arizona, ”Moonshot told NACET President and CEO. Scott Hathcock.
PWR Lab is now working to connect with more advisors, investors, like-minded businesses, and individuals who may be interested in their platform.
To learn more about the PWR Lab platform, visit pwrlab.com. For more information on Moonshot at NACET, visit moonshotaz.com. NBF
By Cindy May, FBN