Student Business Spotlight: Electi Gyms
This week, I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the co-founders of Electi, Brady Walczak. You may be asking: uh, Katie, what is Electi? I am so glad you asked! Electi is a Marquette student owned business available in the app store that aims to reduce the stress and stigma around going to the gym. This week, Brady offered me some insight on his company. If you haven’t heard of Electi, look at their Instagram @electigyms. Track down Brady at any time for a free Electi sticker! Personally, I’ve seen them all over campus.
Electi got its name because it’s Latin for elite and sounds like “electric.” They wanted to motivate students to be energized to go to the gym. It all started with a survey the owners posted on Instagram and shared over email to figure out what issues people were having with motivation to get to the gym or working out effectively. They received a lot of data and built an app to address as many of the issues as they could. Their business and app services help make this a less stressful possibility. On top of social media, you can connect with them to get stickers and shirts when walking around campus or hear about them by word of mouth.
Brady oversees the marketing and product development. Or, as he describes himself, “the used car salesman of the company.” Ronnie Ortiz, on the other hand, focuses on the financial side of things like accounting and long-term profitability. To keep the services to the Marquette community, Brady and Ronnie opted to hire two undergraduate app developers, Noah Broeski and Zac Nelson. As a team, they offer the Marquette community an app that provides a solution to many of the problems students had with the gyms on campus. These include videos on proper machine usage, ability to anonymously report issues (with machines, cleanliness, uncomfortable interactions with other people, etc.). This application helps lower the anxiety that can come with going to the gym.
Brady let me know that a large issue they came across when developing the company was with people not knowing how to use a lot of the gym equipment. Brady explained that getting involved in fitness “drastically changed [his] life for the better.” When he was a senior in high school, he was 270 pounds. Getting more into fitness, he lost weight and gained muscle. He shared this important part of his journey of physical and emotional maintenance with his friends. He would go to the gym with people and show them how to use machines and other areas of health and wellness. The company is for students, by students, emphasizing that they are not alone. It is possible to be excited to go to the gym and to learn tips on eating properly.
One of the main features MU students have utilized is the video feature. In the rec center weight room, all the machines are numbered 1–35. In the app, there are numbered videos that correspond to these machines, and explain how to perform the exercise, adjust the seat, etc. Instead of going through the hassle of asking an employee to show you, it’s all available on your phone!
The company aims to be spread around the country with implementation in many different gyms. They would be a big asset to universities and students. In their survey from March 2021, they found that 35% of MU students were paying for outside gym memberships, even though ours on campus are free. They wanted to help keep things in the Marquette community. In fact, they have stayed almost entirely in-house with Marquette. The bulk of the work on campus was with emailing and setting up meetings, hiring people, and putting up promotions. All these small decisions were made to keep going forward to create a thing worth talking about: the Electi app.
They credit countless Marquette services for their help with each step of the business building process. Kelsey Otero was their contact in the 707 Hub that put them in contact with key people that helped push the business idea forward. Additionally, the Law School helped them with their LLC forms and President Lovell met with Brady and Ronnie. Instead of going to an app development company, they intentionally hired two undergraduate app developers. They wanted to get their business up and running and, in the process, empower other Marquette Students to chase their dreams as well. One of their long-term goals is to give back to Marquette financially, once the business starts picking up.
Electi is an innovative app. I thought to myself, “I bet they spend a lot of their free time trying to make this the best it can be.” When I asked Brady about his side, he said that it was a lot more work than he initially expected. He spends probably two to three hours a day working on the business on top of homework, school, and jobs. His weekend jobs fund the business for now, until they start taking in some revenue. I could feel how dedicated Brady was to be giving his everything into Electi. When I asked what he wanted people’s main takeaway to be from Electi, he said, “go for it.” This was in terms of starting a business in general.
“A lot of people are very worried about putting themselves out there like that. There isn’t going to be a better time to try it. Right now, if I fail, I will just continue with my life. Right now, if I fail, I don’t have a family of my own to support. Right now, it’s just me. I have responsibilities, but not as big as I will in 10–20 years. There are a lot of resources at universities that want their students to succeed. Take it a step at a time.”
In the grand scheme of things, they want other universities to buy their app. This will help foster a better gender balance, a more comfortable environment for all students, and create the potential for a rubber stamp of approval at gyms. People will want to go to a gym backed by Electi because those gyms care about the students’ wellbeing. Eventually, they want to grow the app to social media. Think: add me on Electi and see what workouts I’m doing/what my nutrition is. Group activities are often more fun and successful, so bringing friends into your fitness journey will help build that motivation.
In conclusion, add Electi on your phones. Go to the gym. Learn to use the machines. Learn to eat better. If you need support, come visit the Wellness Peers in the Wellness Center in the 707 building. We offer peer mentoring and programs that, like Electi, promote physical and emotional wellness. Follow Electi on Instagram @electigyms and the WPEs @mu_wellnesspeers. We are more than happy to be here to support you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.
Until next time,