Have you seen our Instagram stories of our CEO, Jakob, traveling around America recently? He’s been making connections, spreading the SPRT vision and meeting some incredible people in all sorts of fields. We asked some of the people he’s met if they’d be willing to answer some questions for our blog, so our community can see who we’ve been talking to behind the scenes!

Profile 1: Sally Menken- German Accelerator

‘My name is Sally and I am a Company Scout for German Accelerator. German Accelerator supports high-potential German tech-startups to successfully enter the U.S. and Asian market with a 1-month program for early-stage startups and a 3-month program for mid- and later stage startups.

My responsibility is to find Germany’s most promising startups and help evaluate if they are ready for the U.S. market. Companies that have been in our program are for example Germany’s unicorns Celonis and N26. I have been living in California for the past two years and will relocate to Berlin in summer to be closer to Germany’s startups.’

What makes it unique to other cities in the US?

‘Living in the Bay Area is unique. San Francisco and Silicon Valley are two very different startup ecosystem that are so close to each other – Silicon Valley is the place for B2B deep technology where almost every company has an innovation hub. San Francisco’s customers are early adopters that enjoy being the first beta testing group. Being able to work and build a network in those two areas is an amazing opportunity. The area is full of incredibly talented and inspiring people that are working on groundbreaking technologies with the ambition to change the world. It is amazing to absorb this mindset which is very different the German thinking.’

What is the next big thing for you personally or business wise?

I am convinced that communities are getting increasingly important. Despite the shift to technology enablement and automation, the desire for belonging will never disappear. I am personally very passionate about the many female communities and are a big supporter of that.

What were your first impressions of SPRT?

The first time I heard about SPRT was at the German embassy in San Francisco. I met Jakob who very passionately told me about SPRT. I was convinced right away. I know from my personal experience as an instructor how difficult it is to keep a community active and to get people to join classes if you are a one-man show. There are a large number of trainers on the market and fitness enthusiasts who are eager to find new workout opportunities. I see a big need to match those two parties.

Where can you see SPRT fitting into the US market?

The U.S. is the biggest fitness market in the world. Fitness and especially sports is part of the American culture. Besides, health and wellness is an important element for people in big cities such as San Francisco, LA, and New York. They don’t work out to be fit but to keep a healthy mind and stay efficient. Therefore, Americans have such a high willingness to pay. Fitness classes in San Francisco easily cost $30 – $40 for one hour.

Profile 2: Kerstin Ewelt- Quora

Kerstin Ewelt (50), Head of Marketing & Business Marketing of Northern Europe. Quora’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge. A vast amount of the knowledge that would be valuable to many people is currently only available to a few – either locked in people’s heads or only accessible to select groups. We want to connect the people who have the knowledge to the people who need it, to bring together people with different perspectives so they can understand each other better, and to empower everyone to share their knowledge for the benefit of the rest of the world.

Do you have anything you’ve personally set yourself to achieve at the moment?

My personal goal: squeezing in a daily walk at work and work out once per week. I’ve learned to have smaller goals now! And a new habit…I am drinking two liters of water per day and don’t want to fell off the wagon ?

What were your first impressions of SPRT? When did you hear about it and how?

SPRT is a great idea and closes a gap: traveling and keeping up with working out!

Where can you see SPRT fitting into the US market? Are you excited to see how SPRT could enter the US market in the future?

On the long run everywhere but it would best start locally in smaller cities – probably in California where people are very affine towards sport!

What kind of vibe or people does the city have that would make SPRT a great addition to everyday life?

People work a lot here and trying to find balance in working out.

Profile 3: Philipp Kandal- Telenav

Philipp Kandal, 36, Senior Vice President Engineering at Telenav. I am a serial entrepreneur and founder, the last company I co-founded was a European based navigation and location-based services company (skobbler) which we grew to around 100 people and sold to Telenav 5 years ago. Since then, I moved to Silicon Valley and lead the engineering organization with just over 400 people at Telenav. Telenav is a public company and one of the largest automotive navigation providers globally.

What makes SF unique to other cities in the US? What drew you to living and working there?

The Startup ecosystem in Silicon Valley is unparalleled as well as the density of brilliant people to learn from. I enjoy being among the smartest people and in Silicon Valley, I feel like every day I learn and grow.

Can you tell us one thing someone might be surprised to learn about you? And one thing you’d like to tell your younger self?

My dream vacation is space travel (I had the long-term goal to get married in space, let’s see if this is possible in time!) – I really want to have a look at earth from the outside – or doing a workout without gravity would be a pretty cool experience too! ? The great thing is that within our generation it’s definitely in reach, so I’m starting to save up money for my first space trip.

What were your first impressions of SPRT? When did you hear about it and how?

I love the idea and what impresses me most is the energy and passion that Jakob pitches with – this is the kind of founder any company would wish for. SF is built upon innovation and people trying out new things. I think if SPRT can democratise sport like Uber democratised transportation and allow people to set up their events without the ridiculous middlemen than this can be a revolution.

How often do you do sport and what’s your favourite sport!?

I do sport 5 or more times a week – usually, I go to the gym in the morning in my building. Currently, I am training for the SF Marathon in July of this year!

That rounds up our SPRT x San Francisco blog! We’re really excited about continuing traveling, spreading SPRT’s vision and working globally to further our journey! Make sure you stay tuned to read where else Jakob has been and other exciting news coming up!

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