Use Drop In to Workout Anytime, Anywhere Without the Hassles of Gym Membership

Use Drop In to Workout Anytime,
Anywhere Without the Hassles of Gym Membership

By Monika Jansen

Amazing how easy it is to get hooked on startups, isn’t it? After Hameto Benkreira graduated from college, he worked in Indonesia on a Fulbright grant as a teacher. While there, he was connected with an educational institution that wanted to create an international-style university. It might not sound like a typical startup, but Hameto ended up learning a ton, as they were operating in a startup environment.

That was all it took. He came back to DC and worked for another startup, Leaf College Savings, before launching Drop In, which launched right before Christmas. They are currently accepting beta users and will start trials soon.

Why did you decide to pursue this particular idea and start up?

I had a bunch of frustrating experiences going to the gym. If you’re traveling or just want to do a yoga class tomorrow morning, it’s hard to do that. We are very mobile and on-demand as consumers, and I started thinking of solutions that provide that immediacy. I started to cold call gyms to get feedback, meet with people in the industry, and do a ton of research.

In 140 characters or less, what does Drop In do?

Drop In is an on-demand platform for accessing gyms.

Why is your startup useful?

We have a double bottom line: users and gyms, which are also our partners. I think of it as providing three kinds of value for both groups. Users get access to gyms and classes, transparent pricing, and a seamless experience. For gyms, we’re driving traffic, acquiring usage data to improve engagement, and generating leads.

What is your business model?

We make a margin off each day pass or drop in pass, and we make a commission every time we convert a user to a full-time member at a gym. We want to add value to everyone.

What do you need, and what do you want?

We just took our site live a few weeks ago and got a bunch of sign ups through social networks. In the short-term we want to focus on gym partnerships and have a full launch next month. Down the line, we want Drop In to be present around the country. We want people who are traveling, to open an app and be able to drop into a gym with a couple of clicks.

Who is your biggest competitor, and why are you better?

We see ourselves as doing something different. Sometimes people say Groupon, because they do monthly deals and boot camps, but they’re really promoting these incentivized deals that gyms don’t really use because it didn’t add much value.

There’s Athletes Club in New York, but it’s a universal pass for a couple dozen gyms. GoRecess has a national presence, but they’re like a white pages for looking up classes and buying them over the Internet. Our model is on-demand access to great gyms. The opportunities are really, really big. We think it’s great that other startups are trying to innovate and add value. The industry is dated, and there’s lot of opportunity to bring technology into it.

Tell me something unique or interesting about you or your company that most people don’t know.

The idea for this came about when I was walking through Dupont Circle (Washington, DC) after lunch with my former boss, my mentor. There was a sign outside a gym with a one-day only promotion, but the same sign was there a few days later and a few weeks later. It drove me crazy that this big gym was advertising by putting a sign out on the sidewalk. I thought, how could we optimize this and do it better?
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