[Startup Interview] Jelmer Van Der Linden, Co-Founder, De HardloopSchool, Netherlands
De HardloopSchool is a Dutch sports and fitness startup that offer physical and online classes on running by allowing learners to run wisely, efficiently and relaxed, which reduces the risk of injury and allows one to perform to their maximum potential. Jelmer Van Der Linden, the Co-founder of the startup tells us more.
Tell us about your startup
De HardloopSchool was founded in 2021 as a sports and fitness initiative. It originated from a passion and it uses proven methods to guide one as quickly and effectively as possible on their way to any sporting goal.
The HardloopSchool's mission is to get people moving and to keep them moving. For example, running is a sport that we too easily think that everyone can do it. It is our natural movement pattern. However, due to our “sedentary” existence and wearing our over-protective shoes, we have become too far removed from this natural walking mechanism.
Who are the founders and what are their professional backgrounds?
Both founders have walked similar routes prior to founding the company. Jelmer van and Lucas both have deep roots in the running community and are also work as physiotherapists.
How is De HardloopSchool financed?
It is financed by ourselves.
In your opinion, what are the dynamics defining the sports and fitness industry?
It is a very saturated market where it is difficult to stand out. It is also constantly changing and you need to be on top of your game to keep up.
Why did you start De HardloopSchool? What opportunities did you identify?
There are many online and physical running companies offering coaching and training. During our work as physiotherapists, we saw many running injuries related to training too hard. We believe in a coaching mission where you learn to run wisely, efficiently and relaxed, which will reduce the risk of injury and allow you to perform to your maximum potential.
What issues do you seek to solve?
Running related injuries and unhealthy lifestyles.
What can De HardloopSchool do that no other company can?
Deliver high quality coaching including knowable to the human body. We start every coaching course with a running analysis and a lactate performance test.
Who are your customers?
Anyone that wants to start, improve or excel their running.
What does De HardloopSchool need in order to grow?
The next step will be to invest in a high-end testing equipment
What is your growth strategy?
Set aside our profit to invest later and keep gaining more exposure online and at racing events.
Where else are you looking to establish your presence?
We would like to expand to other cities within Holland. Currently our online coaching is worldwide, but this is still in the early stages.
What are your plans for the coming 12 months?
Invest heavily in quality. We believe in a long-term relation with our clients, so our plans will be to focus on keeping this relationship healthy and happy for a long as possible.
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