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Enterprise Hub Network - Case History

Medway Enterprise Hub
Ray Wynne

VirtualGym TV

Company Background

VirtualGym TV is Europe’s first online gym – a TV station that delivers fitness programmes over the internet.

The idea was born when former financial services consultant Richard Davis was talking to a fitness instructor friend who suggested “wouldn’t it be good if you could teach this online?”

It was launched in January 2008, funded by Richard and his business partner Carl. They signed up 25 fitness trainers, including personal fitness consultant to the stars Nicki Waterman, to lead a wide selection of classes from aerobics to Pilates.

Fitting half-way between a real private gym and retail fitness DVD’s from the shops, it can be done at home or work and is extremely affordable and accessible. The range of changing classes, which can be downloaded automatically, is aimed at eliminating repetition.

The business, supported by top sportswear manufacturer Asics, now has about 850 registered, individual members. At a time when employers are being encouraged to take an interest in the health and well being of their staff, the company already has significant corporate interest in bringing VirtualGym TV into the workplace.

Work with Enterprise Hub

VirtualGym TV first sought guidance from The Hub two years ago.

The Hub helped to identify people to talk to about premises. The company needed somewhere that they could build two TV studios in and have an office suite.

The company’s biggest issue is finding funding. The Hub is working with Richard Davis on this, looking for funding opportunities including applying for help from Finance SE. Support is also being provided in getting the business plan into shape, aiding the process at funding presentations.

Talking about VirtualGym TV’s involvement with the Enterprise Hub, co-founder Richard Davis says:

“The Hub has given us advice and guidance through the process of setting up our business. They have also given support in linking us up with other companies and continue to help us look for finance.”

Ray Wynne, Medway Enterprise Hub Director says: “Richard is extremely dynamic. I’m impressed with what he has achieved. In the short time they have been up and running, they have gone a long way to developing their offering in the market place. They have something fairly unique in the UK that has wide appeal to a mass audience – delivering fitness in an exciting way using current technology.”

What’s next

VirtualGym TV is now talking to companies about providing fitness programmes tailored to employees, with a positive initial response. Birmingham City Council is currently promoting the service to residents and workers.

It hopes to have 4,500 active members in its first year and a turnover of £550,000. The target is for this to increase to 10,000 members and a £1.6 million turnover in two years.

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