Four-time Ironman Dave Hayes knows a thing or two about the physical and emotional commitment it takes to reach a goal.
Hayes — alongside his triathlon coach, Troy Clifton — is taking that hard-earned sense of tenacity and applying it to something else entirely: entrepreneurship. Their new venture? A platform that marries the easy access and choice of Airbnb with the knowledge and expertise of health and wellness professionals.
But instead of connecting people with a place to stay, they’re helping users find health and wellness instructors, coaches, dietitians and chefs from all over the country, all through an online marketplace called Thrvly.
“Troy and I were going over coaching plans, and I asked what he was doing with other athletes,” said Hayes. “We discovered that he coached only in his local area. So what we’re trying to do, and the initial idea behind Thrvly as a platform, is figure out how to take the expertise that coaches have and allow them to easily scale to athletes outside of their local area or athletes that are better matched with their coaching style.”
Since those initial conversations, Hayes and Clifton have expanded the idea to include a variety of health experts, from fitness instructors in yoga, Spin and CrossFit to nutritionists and dietitians. Professionals registered on Thrvly‘s marketplace can post content they already use with clients — like meal plans, exercise routines and class programs — in order to reach a larger audience, regardless of where they are located.
“The market, as it exists right now, consists of hundreds of different yoga sites and millions of nutrition blogs. If you’re a user searching for different Paleo recipes or yoga workouts, you have to go to a number of different subscription sites, visits blogs and buy cookbooks,” said Hayes. “With Thrvly’s marketplace you can join a single place and have access to any instructor throughout any discipline in the world.”
Currently in stealth mode, the company has spent the last six months building out its instructor network through direct recruiting. To date, Hayes said Thrvly has over 250 onboarded instructors.
Once the platform goes live, users can sign up for an $8/month subscription to gain unlimited access to Thrvly content. Users who haven't signed up for the plan will still be able to access a limited amount of content each month at no cost.
Instructors who convert free viewers into paying subscribers will earn a percentage off each Thrvly subscription.
“While an instructor could upload three videos and that’s it, we let them know that the more content they upload and the higher quality the content is, the more views they’ll get which leads to more revenue for them,” said Hayes.
So far, Hayes said the platform has been well-received among instructors, who often don’t have the resources or time to put together a well-executed web presence.
As for the next two to three months, Hayes said the team is heads down developing the user side of the platform and hopes to launch sometime between April and June.
“We’re creating a health and wellness marketplace for anyone’s interest — the same way Airbnb created a platform for your interest in staying at a fancy villa or a tent in the woods,” said Hayes.