ClimbWell – Seth Joseph, GSM ’07

The concept for the 2007 ITEC Business Plan Competition winner, ClimbWell, was born out of founder Seth Joseph’s passion for indoor rock climbing.  An avid climber coming back east  from the West Coast, Joseph was surprised with the lack of facilities available around New England.

“Not only were there very few facilities, but their business models were focused on the novelty crowds such as birthday parties, corporate events and the like,” Joseph recalls.  “Meanwhile, the west coast facilities I was familiar with had memberships and revenue models that were sustainable for the long-term.”

ClimbWell sought to change that by bringing the West Coast rock climbing philosophy and business mentality to the East Coast.  Rather than just a climbing facility, ClimbWell would focus on developing a more complete gym that emphasized a holistic workout that is complemented by rock climbing.

After winning the ITEC competition, Joseph was successful in raising funds and gaining initial commitment.  However, it became extremely difficult to find the right space and soon he began to meet the unfortunate realities of entrepreneurship.

“We had very specific needs that were not going to be easily met,” he recalls. “Between the square footage and warehouse type of set up that could facilitate indoor walls, there was practically nothing available through New England.”

Ultimately, time ran out and Joseph and his wife went on to pursue other opportunities.  He is now back on the West Coast in Palo Alto where he works with SuresScripts LLC.  But the lessons from ClimbWell and ITEC have left an indelible impact on his career.

“The ITEC and BU experience helped me understand how to pitch an idea, how to craft a business plan and present in a compelling manner,” he recalls.  “I think the ability to communicate ideas has been very positive for me and my career, and the fact that I have that skill now is a credit my education at BU and going through the process of starting a business.”­

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