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Opportunity Amid Chaos – Agile Response from Women-led Fitness Pass

Finding opportunity amid the chaos, read about Alicia Vivanco and her team overcoming the current crisis to excel in the market

In 2019, Alicia Vivanco, founder of fitness startup Fitness Pass, and her mainly female team achieved a 10x growth. Their plan was to keep or exceed this impressive growth in 2020....

Integral to their success was the support of accelerator programs such as Scale-Up by Endeavor Peru, and Liquid Venture Studio’s Growth-focused program as well as Alicia’s participation in Women Entrepreneurs Week 2019. At this week-long global event, organized by Swiss EP, Alicia met female entrepreneurs, mentors and investors from 6 different countries, exchanged learnings and improved her pitch.

Before the pandemic, Fitness Pass ‘value proposition was to help users reach their health and wellness goals by providing them with an all-in-one access pass to a variety of studios and gyms in their city.

Around mid-February 2020, Fitness Pass data showed a 25% decline in reservations. As weeks passed and the global spread of the COVID-19 virus accelerated, the decline continued and, with it, brought much uncertainty to the Fitness Pass team.

A few weeks later, on March 15, the Peruvian government issued a mandatory lockdown, and, in the blink of an eye, Fitness Pass was left without studios and gyms for their users to attend.

In Alicia's words:

“During the lockdown we had to reinvent ourselves and we decided to create new business lines to continue operating and creating value while we continued to search for alternative revenue streams to sustain the business. We reacted quickly, managed to continue selling, and took advantage of the opportunities presented by the situation.”

Along with many businesses impacted by COVID-19 worldwide, Fitness Pass’ business model was put to the test.

The team was down, but not out.

Over the past months, Fitness Pass founder has been invited to participate in innovation webinars (“Entrepreneurial resilience” by Innovación Para Todos initiative and conferences (“The future of the wellness industry”, and “Sports brands in quarantine”) alongside multinational companies, being recognized not only for their resilience but also for the relevance that their mission brings to this worldwide health crisis.

The main purpose of their business is to keep people healthy and fulfill their wellness—all from one place. This mission has captured the interest and attention of multiple investors across Latin America. Moreover, the ability of Fitness Pass to adapt, pivot quickly, and validate their value proposition while obtaining a 120% increase in corporate sales and exceeding their highest revenue by 15% shows that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Alicia explains:

“By March 21, we were able to open the Fitness Pass Shop, a sports accessories e-commerce so users could equip themselves to workout at home. A week later, we launched a third line of business called LIFE, a 100% online platform that offers a marketplace for online classes & wellness experiences, including livestream and on-demand fitness classes, nutrition workshops as well as virtual psychologist, nutrition appointments, cooking classes, once again connecting our current and new users to coaches from all over LATAM and Spain. Since then, the focus has been on increasing our strategic and commercial alliances with corporates and B2B clients to be able to remain competitive and engage the workforce, retain talent and keep teams cohesive.”

This team is on its way to reaching its vision of a world where people can have a well-rounded approach to a healthy lifestyle and new social experiences in the one-stop-shop that is Fitness Pass.

The new business model and growth plan have resulted in high-profile companies reaching out to Fitness Pass to collaborate, most recently leading insurance company and a telemedicine startup who see the value Fitness Pass can bring to their own customers.

Today, Alicia continues seeking new knowledge by connecting with seasoned entrepreneurs as she understands she is in it for the long haul. She is optimistic about the new normal that is coming and is focused on preparing for Fitness Pass’ next funding round in just a few months. She continues leveraging the support of accelerators and the Swiss EP Program to reach more investors and continue driving growth at Fitness Pass.

“Even though times are still uncertain, what remains certain is our resilience and commitment to our mission and our community”.