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James Dickerson of Leap

How did you start your business?

I [James] first had an idea for a company called “Wellthy” based around corporate wellness challenges that I started about a year ago. I built the team and we took the company through the Brandery, which gave us some great resources to help us get going.

What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?

We built our first app and tested it with companies, but learned that people didn't want to do corporate wellness challenges. They wanted to compete with their friends around their goals and interests. So, with about a month before the Brandery demo day, we changed directions to Leap.

Leap is the first mobile app for social group challenges. It lets users create challenges with their friends and compete by snapping photos from their phone. For example, you could create a challenge to see who could eat a healthy breakfast each day of the week, or meet the most people on a Friday night and prove your progress by posting pictures and earning points.

What inspires you?

The Brandery was a huge help to us. It helped us get connected to mentors that gave us some very valuable advice on topics from fundraising to product development. We were also one of five startups in the country invited to pitch at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago. We were able to validate what we were working on and it gave us a big confidence boost.

Our vision is that challenges are the best way to push people to try new and interesting things in their lives and to capture fun experiences with the people that you care about. This has inspired our team to build Leap, and we hope people use our application in a really positive way.

What’s next for your company?

We launched our app on Leap day, Feb. 29. We're focused on gathering feedback from early adopters and using it to build the best possible product. We’re also talking to investors to raise a seed round for Leap.

By Robin Donovan

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