Melbourne knowledge week
Melbourne Knowledge Week

Meet Mel and Sebastian of PT Mate

PT Mate

This recently launched app is developed by PT’s, for PT’s – co-founded by real life PT and client duo Mel and Sebastian. This slick Melbourne startup boasts a hoard of features for this niche market, from progress tracking and automated payments to training programs and direct messaging, focused on supporting an Australian industry teaming with freelancers.    

PT Mate was one of four finalist startups chosen to present at October Pitch Night: Migrant and First Generation Founders, an event presented in partnership with StartupVIC and Victoria University, 29 October 2019. 

  1. What’s your startup story?

Mel and I, about a year ago, decided to collaborate to create an app for personal trainers. Mel being a PT herself, hadn’t been able to find any app that would cover all her business needs. All the solutions she had tried so far were either too expensive, too broad or simply had a bad user experience that would make it hard for her to use. I was excited about the idea, since it brought two of my biggest passions together: design & sport. We’ve just completed testing and launched the app on both iOS and Android platforms. So now it’s time to get it in people’s hands and on gym floors across the country. 

  1. Paint us a picture of your vision for PT Mate in five years:

In five years, PT Mate will be the number one app for personal trainers and gym owners to run their business on, both in Australia and globally. At the same time, we´ll be on the forefront of integration of new technologies that help improve people’s health and continue to improve our offer.

  1. What are the main barriers you’ve experienced on this journey?

As a small team with limited resources and being self-funded, development of the apps has been a major challenge. We love being independent, which allows us to pursue our vision – at the same time this has meant that we had to educate ourselves in areas we weren’t versed in. In my case, this meant to teach myself React Native and several API integrations to build the app. Mel learnt a lot about running a business, marketing and the legal requirements to get an app out into the world. It’s been a journey; we’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far and we are excited about the things to come.

  1. If you could choose five dream resources to have for your startup, what would they be? 
  • mobile and backend developers to help us develop the app further
  • a decent marketing budget
  • customer service & support person
  • 28 hours in a day
  • a nanny to look after my twins!
  1. Imagine you’re running a workshop, what knowledge would you share based on your education and life experience up until now?

The experiences that led us to where we are. How to be curious, explore new paths and not be afraid to break something or fail. It’s all part of the journey.

  1. Who would be your dream mentor and why?

Andreas Antonopoulos, Bitcoin advocate. Beyond the hype, he drives the discussion towards how the future of our monetary system, society and democracy should look like and where technology, especially Bitcoin’s role in it, could be.

  1. What are your most used apps/tools on a daily basis?

At work – Sketch, Xcode, Sublime Text and lots of Post its

To communicate – Slack and WhatsApp

To work out – PT Mate 🙂

  1. Has there been a time when something hasn’t worked out and you’ve been able to turn your experience into a positive one?

With a colleague at a previous job, we had the idea to create an app tackling fake news. While he would develop the algorithm using Machine Learning amongst other things, my part was to design it and take care of marketing and connecting with people in the industry. Just as we set up the company, he disappeared and I was unable to find another developer who was interested in working on it. This experience helped me with PT Mate (especially the legal things involved; how to create a Minimum Viable Product, and find the right people) and allowed me to avoid making some of the previous mistakes that ultimately led to the project not launching.

  1. Can you recount for us your favourite ‘win’ moment to date – it could be big or really small, but a time where you felt really hopeful and proud.

When I launched my first self-developed game “AirCube” on the App Store, user feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the game got an overall 4.5 star rating. Having created the app was very rewarding in itself, and it was even more so to see that I had created something people really enjoyed. One comment from a teacher was especially inspiring, telling me she’d used the app to teach her students spatial thinking.

Find out more about PT Mate:

Website – www.ptmate.net

App store – PT Mate

Google play – PT Mate

Insta – @ptmate.app

Facebook – Facebook/ptmateapp

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