When remodeling a kitchen, people usually rely on friends for advice on contractors and architects. Brides use websites and friends as resources when planning their wedding. Entrepreneurs Brian Verne and Mike Eppich figured: Why not create a place where athletes can get advice on apparel?
So Verne and Eppich created Phenom
, a mobile app where athletes can brag about the apparel and equipment they use to train. “Influences have a place,” says Verne. “Athletes are concerned with how they look and the products they are using.”
Phenom is designed to give amateur athletes a leg up on the decisions they make.
“Phenom connects athletes with the best gear, equipment and training opportunities based on what their peers are using right now,” says Verne. “From buying a new product to vetting a trainer, camp or combine, Phenom will become the easiest way for athletes to get the inspiration, advice, product information and professional reviews they need to win.”
Verne describes Phenom as “an app to promote your style and your hustle.” Users create a digital profile in a virtual locker to share what they like and are using. “The virtual locker has information on how they’re using that stuff, where they’re using it and how they’re training and competing,” explains Verne.
After first starting a successful performance apparel company, Verne and Eppich decided they needed to expand their vision. “We wanted an app that had a heartbeat, to capture things in real time – people getting ready to train and wanting to compare equipment,” says Eppich. “The whole idea is to see an athlete’s day or athletic career in every single segment, from the training they do to their post-workout after the game.”
Verne and Eppich have seven part-time employees in New York, a vice president of finance in Boston and are planning on hiring two to three full time developers in their Cleveland headquarters. On January 7, the two will head to New York to pitch Phenom to investors in First Growth Venture Network’s SecondGrowth.
To build awareness of the app, Phenom recently hosted an open house during a soft launch at their downtown Cleveland offices.
Source: Brian Verne and Mike Eppich
Writer: Karin Connelly