Category: Push

Push – to wear or not to wear.


Q:Have you considered developing more devices on the same topic – fitness?

Q:How was the Push initially received by the public?

Q:Are there any government standards that product has to match to be in the health category?

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Summary: Push is a startup company organized and specializing around one single product – Push, it is a wearable device that lets professional athletes train with better understanding of each exercise and control the performance of each turn. The device itself presents a small black box with colored LEDs and two sensors: gyro-sensor and accelerometer which track the motion of the person wearing it and store the information on a specific internet storage, where the user and his/her has access to and can track progress and make modifications. At MaRS building we were greeted by Mike Lovas, Chief Designer at Push and one of the co-founders of the company. At first Mike took us for a tour around the Jolt – an incubator for new businesses and later he showed us office space where Push resides until this day. The office area was somewhat tiny so we only got a brief glimpse at the actual offices, but nevertheless Mike took us outside and answered our questions.

Reflection: The visit at Push strength was interesting in terms of seeing MaRS building from the inside, seeing Jolt – quite an important place for innovators with lots of ideas and little money, a place where every aspiring designer could find himself at a certain point of his life.  The visit to Push offices was as anticipated just a showcase of company’s performance, even though according to Mike it’s not its brightest times. The Push product itself in my opinion is targeted at a very specific audience which left me with a controversial question of why would professional athletes who have trained for most of their life suddenly need a sensor to maximize some of the physical outputs. Mike’s answer: that in the professional level every little bit matters did not fully answer the question. Therefore my conclusion was that the correct advertisement and proper delivery brought Push to the point where it stands now.


Push is a start up company that makes a wearable fitness monitor for pro athletes. The product is an ingenious band that athletes wear around their arm while working out. The product is made with flex sensors that measure the muscle’s movement. This data is gathered using algorithms and displayed on a mobile app in an intuitive way.

Push utilized several avenues to propel their business into success. They campaigned their concept and product using crowdfunding through Indiegogo. They eventually found Jolt, a company which helps entrepreneurs realize their business. These methods of generating product awareness were a factor in the success of this great company.

While I appreciate the inventiveness and success of the company Push, I see a greater meaning to their product. I believe that this product can also be successful in the medical industry. Many people have to train just like athletes do when doing physiotherapy.


For our last visit before heading to New York, we went to MaRS to meet a start up company named Push. MaRS is a place of networks and incubators that help new entrepreneurs start businesses. It’s a hub of many start-up companies. Mike Lovas, Chief Design Officer at Push, gave us a brief tour of the place. These are the questions I had constructed for him prior to and during the visit:

  • What was your process journey like from product idea to applying in an incubation program?
  • From your experience, what traits are required in a project, for it to be accepted in an incubation program?
  • You are trying to move your product from an exclusive market to a general one. Don’t you feel that the premium quality that the product currently holds will be lost? Do you feel that creating another device all on its own is a better idea.


Push is a wearable tech company that focuses on high-end athlete’s workout data. They have developed a wearable band called the Push Band that precisely records various different data such as speed, number of sets etc… during a work out. It started out as a quick prototype device that recorded some exercise statistics, and slowly the founders enrolled in an incubation program to make it into an actual product. Mike also ran us through his experience of the incubation program and mentioned several time that it is very hard to run a start up. He had mentioned that for first couple of months they weren’t really able to pay themselves. He also briefly spoke about the business models they had in mind. And how the company was going to push forward. The company was thinking about moving from a very specific market to a bit more generalized one. He also spoke about how the target audience would be shifting and that would force them to simplify their interface.


This trip was a good and educative experience. I was very interested in functional sides of an incubation program, and hearing Mike speak about his experience gave me a good insight about it. The presentation was fulfilling however a little dry. Also, I felt Mike didn’t understand the question I asked, which left me a little disappointed. I admired the company’s dedication towards the product, and at the pace they were able to commercialize it. This trip was also a great example of hardships involved in doing start-ups as well as, the importance of having a good prototype for your product.


Push Strength – March 13


We visited the MaRS building during March 13, and our first visit included a small tour with Mike Lovas, who talked about one of the projects he was a part of. His presentation answered my questions:

  • What was the biggest difficult in making this device?
  • What is your advice for people who intend to work with wearable technology development?
  • At some point, did you have trouble with financial costs?


Mike gave us a tour around the spaces he and his team used to work on the Push Strength device. The product itself consists of a fitness tracking device in the shape of an armband that helps athletes keeping track of several variables during a specific exercise. Mike talked mostly about the steps taken to make the product a reality, from the project idea to their acceptance into Jolt, a program that helped the team to give continuity to Push Strength. He also talked about the team’s future plans for Push and how they intend to expand the product’s capabilities to mobile and web. Regarding finances, Mike explained the project started with crowd-funding but received further monetary support along the way, even from the government. The spaces at the MaRS building used during Push’s development changed as the device production progressed, especially with Jolt’s support – the first room we visited had an informal office-like structure shared by different teams, while the second space downstairs was much more professional and quiet.



Seeing a successful project that started with crowd-funding and small proportions is very significant and adds up nicely to what we heard from Steve Tam during his Indiegogo presentation. This visit provided us with a very helpful insight on what it is like to work on a project through several steps of its development, and it was especially interesting to see the changes in physical space and how that space actually represented the production stage of the project very well. I was mostly interested in the finances part and I think it speaks a lot about the project and its level of success to gather funds from different sources. Even though we only met Mike, it was clear enough that the whole team behind Push Strength must work hard and dedicate themselves to this project a lot, otherwise the results would be a lot different.



1) In your experience, what do you think is the biggest advantage your startup gained from participating in incubator programs?

2) As game designers and developers we are often producing non-essential items. Having a premium device and service, what advice did you receive from participating in an incubator program that helped position your product in the marketplace?

3) How did your business transition from grant funding to approaching seed and angel investors for further funding?


On friday our class visited the MaRS startup incubator building. During our visit, we first met with Mike Lovas of Push; a startup company who developed a wearable device for professional athletes and trainers. With the team at Push, Mike took the concept for the device to the Jolt incubator program housed in the MaRS discovery districts co-working space, the MaRS Commons. With the support of Jolt’s startup development resources the company continued to develop Push’s physical and digital applications.Having solidified the hardware, Push wishes to further expand it’s market penetration by focusing on Push’s different software applications on both mobile and web. Mike discussed the businesses funding progression having started with crowd source funding, follow by government grants, and finally connecting with venture capitalists to find seed funds to sustain their business moving forward.


Visiting the MaRS Commons co-working space and speaking with Mike revealed a lot of meaningful insight concerning the advantages of startup incubator programs in Toronto. Through Mike’s shared experiences with Push I gained a better understanding of the process of taking an idea from concept to funding and production with the support of an incubator program. One of the key items that Mike had spoken about that I think was extremely relevant to our studies was the value of goods and services. Mike explained Push’s initial hesitation with pricing their product within a premium price range. Through deeper research and support from Jolt’s incubator tools it was actually revealed that a lower price is not always appropriate for the audience which you are marketing to. I found this to relate well to the idea of games as products that are non-essential items. Then, like Push’s premium marketed device, cannot be valued based on its necessity but its relevance to its consumer base.






(Host Speaker: Mike Lovas)


  • How much research was involved in order to perfectly plan out what was needed for the application?
  • How many people were involved to bring all of the pieces together to build the device and app?
  • How do you apply for the opportunity to start a business at Mars? What was the process of applying to Mars like?


At Mars, the class met up with Mike Lovas, one of the co-founders of the project Push Strength He gave us a tour around the Mars building from where his project started to where he continued to work on the Push Strength device. He explained that the device started as an application to the program called Jolt. The device’s application passed, and they were granted a space within an office to build on the product. After eight weeks, the product is passed to the other side of the office where it can be further developed. Eventually, Mike and his team gained a space downstairs at Mars to prototype and work on Push Strength. In this presentation, Mike explained the benefits of the Jolt program and how it pushed the device forward. He explained how each person within the team has different roles in order to bring the device and app together. Without splitting up the tasks, the project would have been very tedious to build.

Personal Reflection:

Mike’s presentation was very inspiring because he talked about his experiences of starting this business. He explained that he was able to do two jobs while being part of this project, which explains his busy life, and was able to get the incubator space with his team at Mars. This information about the process is helpful because a couple of us are developing health applications as well for diabetics and have been researching into different possibilities that would help use build the app. Our application also plays on the idea of wireless communication, like Push, and sending data via Bluetooth to the app. The similarities between the process to execute Push Strength and our diabetes app are very big. It is easy to apply the Jolt program as part of our possible incubators.

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