Published: Feb. 10, 2020 By

hubleteThe options for health and wellness services are everywhere — and endless. How do you know where to go and which services are right for your needs? To solve this problem, Lochlainn Renfrow, a senior in Information Management, alongside co-founders Cristina Bermudez (Yale 2021) and Sebastian Connelly (McGill University 2022), developed Hublete in June 2018, an app for finding accredited fitness & recovery services near you. See how they're making strides in the health and fitness space:

Q: What does your startup do? 

A: Hublete helps consumers find personalized fitness services near them. This includes physical therapy, personal training, nutrition guidance, massage therapy, acupuncture, and more. Users can compare locations using pictures and prices, get transit directions and learn about available professionals. Hublete takes all the guesswork and time-consuming research out of the equation so that you can reach your goals sooner.

Q: How did you come up with your business idea? What inspired you?

A: Both my cofounder and I were heavily involved in sports in high school at a high level — both of us ended up with severe injuries that threatened to end our careers. Finding professionals that knew how to help us train and recover took far too long. The process wasn’t transparent, and we didn’t know how much it would cost. Our experiences gave us clarity on a problem many face: it’s too difficult to find trusted professionals that can help us all reach our wellness and fitness goals. We were inspired to create something that would help people become healthier and serve growing businesses by giving them as much visibility as big box businesses.

Q: What is your role at your startup?

A: I’d love to say CEO (technically the official title), but I think a better descriptor would humorously be KSO, or Kitchen Sink Officer. No two days are alike. One day I might be doing guerrilla sales, writing copy and digital marketing, and the next I’ll be working on product design, writing legal documents and creating a database. Amongst all of that are the little minor tasks that randomly accumulate in a day, such as an unforeseen bill that requires a call to waive. But by far my most important roles are leading the team and strategic planning.

Q: What CU Boulder academic courses and entrepreneurial resources did you take advantage of to help you build your business? Are there any programs or other resources you look forward to utilizing or participating in the spring 2020 semester?

A: CU Boulder has been enormously beneficial for me as I’ve built this company. We’ve received funding from the Get Seed Funding program along with support on a tactical level from Sam Schanfarber, Program Coordinator, at the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship, but the most impactful have been the classes. Each one teaches different macro lessons that have all assisted in refining my ability to serve Hublete. BASE was so holistic in its assignments that I feel confident in my ability to tackle unique cross-functional issues in my own business, and its groupwork taught me the importance of creating a high functioning team to delegate tasks to. Accounting II taught me critical thinking in a more complex way than I’d ever been exposed to before, and Customer Analytics cemented my understanding that not all customers are created equal. Finally, my first year in the Leeds RAP followed by the years spent there as an RA have provided me with nearby workplaces and whiteboards to brainstorm on.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge in running your startup? What about notable wins or successes?

A: The largest challenges so far have all boiled down to leadership of myself. Creating something from nothing requires that you are out of your comfort zone 24/7. The times when I resist this are when challenges unfold. A spectacular example of this was when I started pitching on street corners to strangers. Being fairly introverted and tending towards radical self-reliance, I can’t think of too many things I’d rather not do than stand on The Hill and ask people to download my app. But when I did it despite how much I didn’t want to, not only did the Hublete needle move, but I also got better. Creating the app and getting businesses and people to believe in what we’re doing constitute battles won.

Q: What do you love about having your own company?

A: Everything! Every day I get to do something different that will push me to become better than I was yesterday. Above anything else, that daily excitement and intrinsic purpose is what I love the most. I also love working with the highest performing team I’ve ever been a part of, creating something that has never existed before and knowing that we’re improving the lives of other people.

Q: What advice would you give to other students who are interested in starting their own businesses? 

A: Just start. The only way you’ll learn if your idea works is to do it. The only way to learn the skills you’ll need is to do it. There is no such thing as a billion-dollar idea; there is only a billion-dollar execution. If you’ve already started, keep moving forward and making decisions. Not every decision you’ll make will be right, but you’ll learn and course correct. Almost no decision in life is permanent.

Q: What do you wish you knew then that you know now?

A: That progress is nonlinear. People say hard work leads to success. Yes, but nonlinearly. The effort you put forth might double, but the progress or the outcome might stay the same or even decline. Then all of a sudden, something clicks and you increase by 500 percent in a matter of days.