photo: Gmyshare

Gymshare: More Sustainable Use of Sports Resources

As we all know, sharing is caring. And according to Florian Börstler and Björn Jansen, the same applies to sports facilities and equipment. The aim of their platform Gymshare is to not only offer customers access to unique sports experiences, but also the opportunity to borrow items like racing bikes. We learn more about how the two founders came up with the idea and the challenges they’ve faced in our interview.

Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourselves and your service!

Gymshare: We’re Flo and Björn. Björn is 31 years old and has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Flo is 30 years old and has a bachelor’s degree in sports management. The two of us are the founders of Gymshare, and we want to change the future of sports by integrating sharing into sports. We’re building the first marketplace where you can find, book, borrow or, most importantly, share everything you need for your unique sports experience. Basically, the “AirBnB of sports.” It’s a platform where you can rent a private gym, borrow a racing bike or surfboard or find the right trainer for your next fitness challenge.

Gymshare was actually motivated by self-interest

Gymshare was actually motivated by self-interest. Flo used to be a professional athlete and went on to become a freelance coach. As a coach, he’s always looking for sports locations that he can easily and flexibly rent with his customers, which is also how he established two sports locations in Munich: a private indoor basketball court and a personal training studio. With both locations, it’s always the same problem: Outside the main business hours, the locations are often empty and unused. That’s how the idea emerged to flexibly and easily rent out the spaces, be it to other trainers, private individuals, for workshops or to groups of friends. Basically, a platform like AirBnB – but for sports locations.

We’ve even taken the idea a step further, since almost everyone has sports equipment at home. The costs add up quickly, but everything still just sits there most of the time without being used. With Gymshare, anyone can now share their sports equipment with a community of like-minded people and also borrow the equipment they don’t have yet when they need it.

More sustainable use of our sports resources

Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!

Gymshare: There are countless startups in the sports industry, some of which have similar concepts. But they all concentrate on a small niche, such as bike or ski rentals. We, on the other hand, see sports as something more holistic and much more in our online world. We’re all kind of multi-athletes these days, and it’s imperative for us to treat our sports resources more sustainably. The first steps towards getting there just need to be easier.

Munich Startup: What was your biggest challenge so far?

Gymshare: We first had to map out the complexity of our idea and the standards we hold it to as simply as possible, and implement it. We now have a functioning MVP online that we can work with and that is slowly filling up with offers.

Our next major or perhaps even fundamental challenge is, as is often the case, reaching the right people and getting them on board with us, so we can make sports more sustainable together.

Munich Startup: How is business going?

Gymshare: With our MVP, our primary focus at the moment is on Munich and the surrounding area, which means that’s also where most of the offers are from. We already have more than 200 sharing offers on Gymshare and are constantly growing.

Munich Startup: What does Munich mean to you?

Gymshare: Flo was born and raised in Munich. Even when he was on the go for his studies or his sports career, Munich was always his home base. Björn came to Munich to go to university and has grown to love the city.

Getting Munich residents on board with the concept

Appropriately enough, the city offers a very interesting audience for our idea. We’re convinced that if we’re successful in getting Munich residents on board with our idea, then we can establish Gymshare anywhere. The startup scene in the city is incredibly strong and the communication and solidarity is always so much fun to be a part of. Even if “bullshit bingo” can sometimes become rampant.

That’s why I’m going to go ahead and answer the next question here, too. If we manage to conquer Munich and strengthen our test case, then it’s as the saying goes: “To the moon” with Gymshare.

Munich Startup: How will your startup become the next unicorn? Or will we be seeing you at an Epic Fail Night soon?

Gymshare: Well, we hope that doesn’t happen. But if it does, we’ll have at least learned something and would be happy to share our insights and experience with you.

But to make sure things don’t get that far, we’re going to keep working diligently on our platform. Next, we want to expand and enhance our marketing activities and also host our first sharing events. With the new feedback, we’ll keep optimizing our site and features and grow step-by-step.

Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?

Gymshare: We think you should only start a business if you’re passionate about the topic. So that definitely means staying power!