When sports activities become a game!

KUMPA is a recent start-up company created by two UTC students which proposes an “app” for smartphones, turning your jogging and bike exercises into a game.

When sports activities become a game!

When you set yourself training objectives, repetition can become boring. By downloading KUMPA to your mobile phone, ,each step you take or each pedal circle brings you points, presents challenges or allows you to measure your performance against other runners/bikers and corner their bounty! Several story-lines are proposed either as a team or individually with the aim of adding some “peps” to your sporting activities. Early 2018, you will be able, for example, to race through Maya countryside scenery as portrayed in the famous TV programme Ushuaia. Other adventures will soon become available, such as the mythical ‘Pacman ®’, or run loose in a Koh Lanta setting. Scores obtained and regularity in your efforts each week unlock new game levels. Each “title” represents 4 weeks’ training. Please note that KUMPA is not an augmented video-game like Pokemon Go ® where players become totally addicted to the Pokemon universe - the aim here is rather to motivate you to make a physical effort and thereby improve your physical condition. The authors have already imagined some corporate formula to increase emulation among colleagues. Bearing in mind ‘safety’ and ‘pleasure’ factors, there is an accessory to attach the phone to your hand without the need to actually ‘hold’ it and audio-alerts go off only at crucial moments in the games, inviting you to look then at the phone screen.

This is a UTC-made project

With the initiative launched a year and a half ago in the framework of the UTC Entrepreneurship Elite section, the project has evolved. One of the two co-founders Maxime Robinet, explains “I was influenced by my training in design and first thought of creating a connected sports object but demand was oriented more specifically to software with sports activity “apps” being among the most popular smartphone downloads that exist”. Maxime is currently finishing his engineering diploma, majoring in Mechanical engineering with the elective specialty Design. An encouraging example was seen in the American Zombie Run® which came on the market in 2012. The KUMPA project has since become a registered company, just a few weeks ago. The business model adopted is to see customers purchase episodes and what are called “power ups” that allow them to gain points and extra “lives” but also to sign partnerships with various sports goods brands. Discussions are under way with major companies such as Banda Namco ad the TV channel TF1. After some experimentation in France early 2018, our start-up executives also entertain the ambition to win over the American market in a longer termer perspective. More later, surely …keep tuned n