Tag: Push

Push and Studio Y


^ An example of some of the software that Push offers

On Thursday we visited the studio Push, located within the MaRs complex in downtown Toronto. Push is sport technology company started within MaRs that focuses on a wearable armband that helps competitive athletes refine their workout through scientific certified metrics. It began as a small company of about 3 people. They used a start up “assistant” located within the MaRs building to help get the ball rolling. The assistant helped train them in common business practices and marketing, as well as helping to establish their brand. The starting team had little experience in running a business so the help proved invaluable. The company knows it target demographic quite well and has tuned to their product accordingly, which was very important in their process. However, they intend to expand their target audience to more casual users. The company also emphasised the freedom of starting your own business.

This trip proved to provide some helpful insight into the operations of a start-up business. In many ways, Push reflects some of my own goals in terms of business. The person we were talking to emphasised the freedom and flexibility you obtain from starting your own business. This is one of the biggest reasons why I want to start my own business. I’ve never wanted to work for a large scale corporation where my word means nothing. It also fascinates me that the workforce is shifting from specialized employees to more multi-faceted employees who carry a variety of skills. This improves my disposition towards our course considerably. It makes me more comfortable about the future.

  1. Were there any money problems when you were starting out?
  2. How big was the team when you started and how big is It now
  3. What were some of things that Jolt taught you?


On the same day as Push, we visited the Studio Y space in the lower portion of the MaRs building. It was a welcoming space, filled with plenty of young students. Studio Y is a gathering place of young people from around the North America that come together to collaborate with each other. There are 25 “fellows” that make up the entirety of Studio Y. Every 8 months these 25 “fellows” change. These fellows each bring their own personal projects where they recruit the help of their fellows to assist them. They bring a new perspective that can be incredibly valuable to their projects. The system challenges they take on are similar in themes to their personal projects, except they are on a much larger scale. They invited us to communicate with them and raise discussion topics that would be debated in small groups. The topics ranged from more tangible discussions such as the concept of Online friends while some were more abstract, like the discussion on our ways of communication.

I found this visit to be an intriguing venture. I never really knew that such spaces existed, where students were brought in for 8 months – with all their expenses covered including room and food – and were given the freedom to pursue their own personal projects. It seems like an incredibly useful tool and also a very fun experience. The new perspective that these fellows could bring to each other’s projects sounds like perhaps the most useful part of the Studio Y experience. I’ve often found that having a fresh pair of eyes on something that you’ve been slaving over for hours can you can give some much needed perspective.


  1. How does one become a “fellow” in Studio Y
  2. What are the types of projects that are encouraged in Studio Y?
  3. What are the types of projects that you guys tackle for your system challenges?





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?

0 (1)

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.

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.




(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.


What is Push?

What are the difficulties with a start-up?

Where did the inspiration come from?

Today we visited Push inside of the MaRS discovery center. Push is a small start-up company operating from within the MaRS commons incubator. The incubator is home to multiple different start-ups of varying complexity. Within the commons, there are multiple different sections of tables, each one being the workspace of a different start-up company. With the MaRS commons Push started at Jolt, which is sort of a first phase section on the incubator and has now moved its workspace over to an area marked “Microsoft Ventures”, which was comprised of more developed start-ups. Push itself was founded around the design for an exercise monitor. The monitor would be placed on the arm (or other area) of a person’s body when exercising. Data is then read with an accelerometer and gyroscope from the monitor and run through a series of algorithms before being pushed to the user’s phone via Bluetooth. There this data can be used be the user and/or a personal trainer or training app to help monitor/improve the user’s workout experience.

I found this experience mildly interesting. Primarily it was nice to see what kinds of things go on in the MaRS center, but it was also an interesting insight into the start-up world. I did not realize that there were start-up forums such as the one that Push resides. I was under the impression that stat-ups would either work from the founders’ available space or in a small rented office or studio, but did not expect there to be places like Jolt. It was also a good insight into the scale of a start-up as Push has a single product and from what I could tell the product still has very few applications, but despite this Push seems to be developing well.



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