Tech Connect: Fitness Startup SweatWorks One of Arlington's Fastest-Growing Companies

This month's TechConnect Profile highlights Arlington-based SweatWorks. Founded in 2012, SweatWorks is the leading technology company in the fitness industry, providing digital creative and hardware solutions. SweatWorks roster of clients includes notable national brands  Equinox, CityRow, SoulCycle, Spartan, Strava, Nike, Beachbody, Garmin, CLMBR, and many more. In August 2021, SweatWorks was ranked 1631st on the Inc. 5000 list of America's fastest-growing companies with a 3-year growth rate of 283%. Outside of its global headquarters in Arlington, SweatWorks has offices in London, Manila, Miami, Montevideo, New York, and Shenzhen. 

We connected with SweatWorks' Founder and CEO, Mohammed Iqbal, to discuss its rapid revenue and employee growth, its innovations in the fitness industry, and the benefits of having its global headquarters in Arlington. 

SweatWorks has seen rapid growth in revenues and employees over the last three years, evidenced by your 2021 Inc. 5000 list ranking. What has fueled the growth for the company? What has been the biggest challenge in scaling the company to accommodate its growth? 

The industry was already on a strong growth trajectory, but with the pandemic, it meant that we were uniquely positioned to help facilitate that growth. Our current clients needed to pivot and provide digital solutions at pace. Having a team with the right knowledge base in place and innovative infrastructure was a key factor in supporting those clients. Our growth stemmed from the fact that we had been sharing with our client base the need to employ a deep digital strategy to complement their brick and mortar facilities before the pandemic. Thus, once the industry slowed to a standstill because of Covid, we immediately got calls to present and implement our digital strategies as quickly as possible. 

Along with that industry change, we saw a consumer change as well. Health and well-being became a significant priority for many more people. The importance of maintaining health and its impact on whether you were more or less likely to be at risk has meant people are in search of more of their health data. We are finding that people are turning to wearables as a means to access health metrics that would otherwise only be shared in a face-to-face consultation with a doctor. This is empowering people to seek information and change behavior.  

One of the biggest challenges was the speed at which our team had to grow. Over the past year, we have grown by 35% and it is definitely not slowing down. We have exceptional talent at SweatWorks and we are always looking to hire the best in the industry.  

Since we manage projects from concept to product build to post-project delivery management, pressure on supply chain and chip production has been a challenge specifically when managing timelines and delivery. More than ever, we've had to fuel creativity, adapt and innovate. 

As you focus on the future of the company, where do you see SweatWorks in the next 3-5 years?  

Our mission is to make fitness and well-being more accessible. As we continue to work towards that goal, we will focus on how our products push boundaries as we drive a culture of innovation within SweatWorks.  

I can confidently say that we will be developing technology that right now may seem unimaginable, but we are already on the cusp of delivering products that will revolutionize how you access data, view health metrics and relate to your life's wellness journey. 

Our clients are placing products in more homes across the world daily. We can reach more people through technology than ever before, and by doing this, we will effectively be helping people improve their lives. We see the market growing and the lines between health, fitness, and wellness blurring. We look forward to taking our expertise into other areas of wellness such as sleep, nutrition, and movement, as well as working alongside other companies that can help more people improve these areas of their lives. 

What is the coolest innovation your team has worked on in the fitness industry? How rapid have the innovations been in this industry thinking about the changing habits among consumers since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic?   

During the pandemic, we've seen consumer behavior dramatically shift. Our daily and weekly habits like shopping, seeing friends, and working changed instantly. Habits that were predicted to take ten years to evolve happened in months. Consumer adaptation, acceptance, and use of technology meant that we were approaching design through the eyes of every level of user, from beginner to advanced. This meant we had to move quickly.  

We succeeded in doing this by working with our brands to bridge the gap between the experiences they had in real life and their new connected experiences.  We accomplished this by focusing on our four pillars of connected fitness - Connected Hardware, Great content, Wearable technology, and a Strong Community.  We were able to bring it all together by implementing innovative AI-based technologies to deploy new strategies rapidly.  

With its global headquarters in Arlington and offices in 6 other markets, what do you see as the most significant advantages to having your headquarters here in Arlington? 

The most significant advantages of having our headquarters in Arlington are accessibility to our domestic and international brands and offices. We are an easy place to get to, and once you are here, you have everything within walking or metro access. In addition, the strong fitness scene in Arlington and access to excellent trails are added benefits. 

Arlington is also an excellent choice for companies looking to scale.  The Metro DC area continues to attract some of the best talent in the country.  NoVA, in particular, has a booming technology sector with many people looking to live and work within a short walk to commute, which makes Arlington ideal to attract and scale our organization. 

Arlington is also my home, where we have chosen to plant our roots and raise our family.  The quality of life in Arlington is a primary reason we decided to make it our home base.  I start my day with a run or ride on the Curtis, W&OD, or Mt Vernon trails, walk to the office, and we have plenty of fantastic options for after-work beverages or dinner.  The convenience of Arlington is hard to beat. 

For more information on SweatWorks and its products and services, visit https://www.sweatworks.com/.  If you are a startup tech company looking to launch or grow your business in Northern Virginia, please visit AED's resource page and contact Adam Henry, Business Development Manager, for more information.  

  

About this Profile Series  

Arlington's startup ecosystem has been rapidly expanding over the past five years and is quickly becoming recognized as an established innovation hub in the United States. Since 2015, Arlington-based companies have generated 250 venture activity deals totaling over $35.7 billion, covering several industries, including software, cybersecurity, fintech, big data, digital media, and more. AED launched its monthly TechConnect Profiles to highlight and profile companies in our technology startup ecosystem.  

 

Topic: BIG Update
 
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