Cruising Through Town

Cruising Through Town

Lyft’s NYC market manager Seth Melnick talked about how the ridesharing app can be used around the city.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Cycle of Fitness

Cycle of Fitness

The Peloton fitness bike has a touch screen that connects riders with video fitness classes they can stream live or on demand. CTO Yony Feng, takes a ride while CEO John Foley looks on.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Better Banner Ads for Better Leads

Better Banner Ads for Better Leads

CEO Rodrigo Fuentes presented ListenLoop, software for targeted, business-to-business banner ads that can turn more Web traffic into leads.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Escape Clause

Escape Clause

LeaseBreak.com helps apartment renters find replacement tenants to take on new leases, said CEO Phil Horigan.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Discovering Art

Discovering Art

Founder Tara Reed’s dashboard, called Kollecto, offers recommendations based on users' tastes for purchasing affordable pieces of art.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Diverse Future in Tech

Diverse Future in Tech

Code Interactive, a nonprofit that encourages youths from underserved communities to learn more about technology, presented two demos:

MyT (My Translator) for connecting people with translators who can help them during job interviews and other important meetings; and Know Your Neighbor, which helps people discover who lives on the same block with them.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Hack of the Month

Hack of the Month

Eric Schles, and adjunct professor with NYU, returned with more software that could be used to spot online evidence of human trafficking.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Fix for Frequent Flyers

Fix for Frequent Flyers

Want money back for cancelled flights? Nicholas Michaelson, co-founder and CMO, presented AirHelp, which assists people with recouping money they are owed from airlines after screw-ups with their flights.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Digital Student Center

Digital Student Center

The Whisper platform is used to create apps and Web sites to help schools communicate more effectively with their communities, said Ben Guttman, partner with Digital Natives Group.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

What started out as a plan to build a software-based company became an exercise in creating hardware and software from the ground up.

That was the tale of Peloton, one of the demos at Tuesday night’s New York Tech Meetup (see slideshow), a monthly gathering of innovators from the city and beyond. Last night’s batch included apps developed by high schoolers from the Code Interactive program and a marketplace to help New Yorkers break their leases early.

There were varying amounts of sweat equity behind the demos, though Peloton took the saying literally. The startup’s exercise bike is outfitted with a video touch screen that connects via Wi-Fi to play back video on-demand of bike routes and classes, as well as live streams of group classes shot at the company’s studio.

Spinning classes on bikes—typically in-person at gyms with coaches and music—have become popular in the fitness realm, with SoulCycle being a notable name in this sector.

The initial idea for Peloton—bringing such boutique-style exercise classes to people at home—turned out to be harder than anticipated, said CEO and co-founder John Foley. At first the startup planned to just distribute exercise video content to indoor bikes, but there was a problem. The technology the company needed did not exist on available exercise bikes. “We had to build the hardware ourselves,” Foley said.

CEO John Foley demos Peloton's cycle at New York Tech Meetup (photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth).

CEO John Foley demos Peloton’s cycle at the New York Tech Meetup (photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth).

Putting the Peloton together took more than just slapping together a bike and a tablet. The bike, which costs about $2,000, is built with carbon steel and has a 22-inch touch screen computer, with a camera for video chatting with others taking cycling classes. “It’s waterproof, so you can sweat all over it,” Foley said.

The bike includes sensors for recording metrics on each person’s exercise performance. There are plans to eventually allow users to export such data to other platforms, said CTO Yony Feng.

Peloton has raised some $32 million in funding, from backers that include Tiger Global Management; Jon Callahan, founder of True Ventures; Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia; and Greg Blatt, chairman of IAC’s Match Group. The company has a store and studio in the Chelsea neighborhood where the live classes are shot.

Prior to founding Peloton in 2012, Foley’s track record includes serving as president of e-commerce with Barnes & Noble, CEO and founder of Pronto.com, and co-founder of short-lived Proust, which was based in New York.

There are some potential limiters to Peloton’s appeal. With its starting price, Peloton is more likely a fit for busy professionals with the space and money to expend on the bike—but not the time to schlep to the gym. The live classes are also beholden to the schedule of the New York studio, unless the company opens more studios in other time zones. Peloton does have showrooms in other parts of the country, including Los Angeles, Boston, and the Washington, DC¬–area, but no word yet on other live studios popping up.

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2 responses to “Spinning Wheels and Breaking Leases at the New York Tech Meetup”

  1. Max Ramos says:

    Peloton’s presentation was amazing last night at NY Tech Meetup! Here’s my full review of all the demos: http://maxandnyc.blogspot.com/2015/03/10-tech-demos-featuring-lyft-lease.html

  2. My 40 year old son rates this shot very radiant :)