Peter Kohne (MET’21) is all about building a healthy body and a positive mindset. He wants to help others do the same. He combined his fitness training expertise with his entrepreneurial drive to launch Elevate Well-Being, a startup that provides mid-sized companies with wellness programs that cover fitness, nutrition, recovery, and mindset.
INNOVATE@BU: How do you create innovation and what problem are you hoping to solve?
PETER KOHNE: Elevate Well-Being provides mid-sized companies with wellness programs for beginner and intermediate fitness levels. There are four types of programs: workout, nutrition, recovery, and mindset. I’m a certified fitness trainer who creates these programs.
I consult with researchers, physical therapists, nutritionists, dietitians, and psychologists. The workout and nutrition programs support fitness goals and maximize energy levels so participants can be more productive. The recovery programs reduce post-workout soreness as well as tightness caused by daily activity. The mindset programs reduce stress, enhance mood, increase focus, and include techniques used by successful business leaders and athletes.
Tell us, where did the inspiration for Elevate Well-Being come from and how did you get started?
My passion for self-improvement inspired me to create Elevate Well-Being. I love watching fitness and psychology-related YouTube videos, but became surprised when I saw that nobody was combining the two disciplines.
While walking home from class one day, I came up with the idea of starting a company that equally emphasizes the development of physical and mental health. I named it Elevate Well-Being because the brand is for a special cloth of individuals who constantly strive to improve themselves. The logo represents this idea. The arrow pointing upwards shows where we have our sights–on a higher level of personal growth. When I researched my potential competitors in the workplace wellness industry, I couldn’t find any companies led by someone from Generation Z. I wanted to bring a fresh, modern perspective to the industry that emphasizes convenience and brevity, two qualities that the world seems to value.
What has been the biggest challenge or obstacle you had to overcome while getting started?
My biggest challenge was to stop working and focus on other aspects of my life. When I started, I worked all the time because I was so determined to reach my goals. I now realize that living a balanced life is a happier and more sustainable path. Working smart is as important as working hard. It makes you pay particular attention to important business tasks, helping you be more productive in the long run.
How about your biggest win so far?
Receiving praise from the former Senior Vice President of a Fortune 500 company was an incredible feeling. It gave me concrete evidence that top companies saw the potential in my idea.
What advice would you give to someone starting their own innovation journey right now?
View the customers as your boss. Give them what they want!
Learn about business law. Pick a business structure that works for you then learn everything you need to know about that structure. There’s an abundance of information on Google, YouTube, and in books. If the info comes from a credible source, take notes and keep them handy! (You can also use the Boston University Startup Law Clinic!)
Keep yourself in a good mood as much as possible. Your emotional state rubs off on others, so if you’re positive, people will want to do business with you.
What meaningful impact are you hoping to create from this venture? What are you and your team working on to get there?
Elevate Well-Being’s success is found in the journey, not the destination. As long as we’re putting 100% of our effort into positively impacting people’s lives through the power of self-improvement, we’re succeeding.
I’m working with a team to make an iOS app that allows Elevate Well-Being’s clients and the general public to access multiple wellness programs in one place. The app has four sections: workout, nutrition, recovery, and mindset. There’s a Free User and Premium Member section on the app. In the Free User section, the user clicks on their desired area of self-improvement (workout, nutrition, recovery, or mindset) then clicks on the program that interests them.
Each program contains techniques that are supported by a credible source. The user reads a 1-2 sentence description of the technique then takes action! For example, they won’t just learn one way to get lean abs, they’ll learn multiple so they can pick the approaches that fit their lifestyle. Whether they want an attractive physique or higher confidence and self-esteem, they’ll learn several ways to get it. The Premium Member section contains comprehensive workout programs, nutrition plans, post-workout recovery guides, and mindset programs including techniques used by successful business leaders and athletes. The programs are consistently updated as new research emerges.
What resources have been most helpful to you along the way?
Innovate@BU’s events and spending time in the BUild Lab played a key role in expanding my network. Meeting entrepreneurial-minded individuals further ignited my ambition. I’ll always be grateful for the opportunities BU has given me.
What’s something we might be surprised to know about you?
I was born in a Central European country called Slovenia and moved to Massachusetts when I was four!