By Daniel Sablosky*
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Daniel Boutov the CMO of up and coming startup that recently launched a new app FitScanner. He walked me through the app and the very personal story behind its creation.
The first thing I noticed about Daniel was his enthusiasm. He is full of the energy that can only come with a successful product launch. After six months of working on the algorithm and building up a media presence, FitScanner went live just one week prior to our interview and Daniel was ecstatic about how the app was performing on the marketplace.
The goal of FitScanner, in Daniel’s words is to “make body fat measuring accessible and free. We want to give people the chance to know their body fat percentage instantly, and to help them keep it under control because it’s important.”
What brings the idea to life is a proprietary algorithm that works off deep learning and AI to scan thousands of similar pictures with identified body fat percentages and draws conclusions from relevant markers in that set to arrive at your specific number.
The Israeli startup story summed up
The FitScanner team is the quintessential Israeli startup story. Daniel Boutov and his best army buddy, Yan Gelburd, became disenchanted with their corporate jobs and decided that they wanted to build something together. They started out building a different health and wellness app called Progressit. This app provided for a forum to take pictures along the path of a diet or new workout plan and share them with a supportive community to raise motivation. The app gained a following, but as the idea was not vital in their minds, they pivoted to their next big idea.
Yan identified the gap in the market going through his own story of weight loss, dropping 25 kilos in just 10 months. While working for this incredible change he found that simply weighing himself failed to provide the information or motivation necessary to get him back out the next day. This is when he realized that traditional measures of fitness such as weight and BMI were not measuring the important values. He figured out that what makes the biggest difference in appearance is body fat percentage, and that there was nothing out there to provide this measurement. Every piece of tech Yan had tried in his weight loss journey had a wide variance in the values and usually required a medical professional to administer the test.
Yan decided to fix the problem and brought on Daniel, Ilya Sosis and Kostya Antipochkin to help realize his vision. At this moment they were in the Hive, an accelerator located in Ashdod with their app Progressit. The people at the accelerator were extremely warm and supportive and helped guide the team through their transition and the early stages of building a business.
A startup with a community
One of the things Daniel emphasized to me was how little they knew coming in, “whether you have a 20 years experience in a specific field or none, there are still a lot of things you don’t know, business, market, etc. and without a community to draw on it’s really tough. That’s why we really wanted to be in Beer-sheva, with Tech7 helping to bring the community together and creating a common well of information to draw on the way forward is much clearer for us.”
FitScanner is updated regularly, and plans for the future include the ability to save pictures, track progress, narrow the ranges of percentage outputs, and build in a prediction model that would show members how losing certain amount of visual fat would change their look. The path forward for the company includes additional investors and expansion into work with trainers.
Daniel and the team creating FitScanner are a perfect vision of what the startup nation is meant to become. They decided that they wanted to take their future into their own hands, and persevered through many obstacles to create a winning product. At its core, the company is a group of very talented friends who are building their dream together.
As always with the Tech7 blog, we asked Daniel if he had any advice for prospective entrepreneurs:
“One of the most important things to figure out is if there is a need, use the community for this. Don’t be afraid to go to meetups, and actively pursue those connections and ask their advice! Try to explain what you’re doing to friends and family, if they are behind you and support what you’re doing it makes the whole process that much easier.”
* Daniel Sablosky is a student at Virginia Tech University studying Industrial and Systems Engineering. He is in Israel for the summer through Onward Israel and is currently working with Tech7 & CDI Negev.