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Barclays Black Founder Accelerator 2021:
Gwaan.ai

 

Gwaan is an AI powered personal training app. A user simply needs to position their phone before exercising, the Gwaan app uses the front-facing phone camera to track a user’s movements; giving real-time feedback on repetitions and form.

Gwaan can detect when a user has slowed down and can encourage them to keep going with a breakdown of how much is needed to reach their target. Following a work-out, a user can consult an in-depth breakdown of their performance on a dashboard and share their statistics on social media - or even invite others to an exercise competition.

Gwaan’s goal is to empower every member of society with analytics that, once, only elite athletes were able to access. We seek to put the black community in Brixton first in every aspect of our work; collaborating with local talent, like Brixton Street Gym, to empower their trainers, local minority developers and schools. Through our design and content, we look to spread the message that black and AI can go hand-in-hand.

Why did you join the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator?

The Barclays Black Founder Accelerator is a great opportunity for me to increase my network and learn from others in the industry. The principles behind empowering black businesses align with Gwaan’s vision to ensure local minorities are given visibility and opportunities, particularly in technology.
 

Why did you want to start your business?

I launched Gwaan because working out and keeping fit is tough. Consistency and keeping motivated is even harder. These are two things I struggle with, and it turns out I’m not alone. Research shows that the main reason people lose motivation and quit exercising is because they put in a lot of effort but don’t see results quick enough, or that there is no accountability or consequences for quitting. These, among other things, are the main pain points that Gwaan is here to solve.
 

What would be your desired outcome from this programme?

It is my hope that at the end of the program we will have all the tools we need to launch our product and secure investment.
 

Which entrepreneur inspires you the most and why?

It’s a tie between Akon and Elon Musk; both have very compelling and infectious dreams for the future. They are able to communicate their visions effectively and, as a result, persuade buy-in from other parties and partners. The residual effects of their business also produce some good in the world, bringing electricity to underprivileged communities and Musk’s revolution in a world of climate change.
 

What has been your biggest win in your entrepreneurial journey?

Winning the Innovate UK’s Young Innovators Award really helped to boost my confidence, and gave me support while I walked through my entrepreneurial journey.

What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge was a collection of many small obstacles that occur at the same time; a number of systems-related errors during a time of pressing business deadlines. The best way for me to solve these issues is by prioritising my time and taking lots of small breaks to maintain a clear head.
 

Where did you go for business advice and how did it help you?

Innovate UK provided me with a business mentor - he has been great at giving my guidance on the direction that I should go and providing me with appropriate challenge to my ideas. The support is sadly coming to an end.
 

What drives you to make your business a success?

I have a vision in my head where people of every shape, background and colour is able to use my product. want to make a positive change in our customers' lives by giving them the tools that they need to achieve their goals. My curiosity further drives me to collect data, better understand how AI can improve fitness motivation and keep designing.
 

What advice would you give other founders thinking about starting their own business?

I would say that everyone is running their own race and I would encourage anyone to not focus on what other people are doing and follow your path. It is also important to seek the right counsel, listen well and never give up.

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