Sudbury company noted for its high-tech innovation

REPerformance Inc. Participation in the prestigious Canadian Technology Accelerator Program in Silicon Valley

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Sudbury’s major business of making fitness something everyone can tackle – and has developed a product that’s increasingly used in schools and coaches across Ontario and Canada – can expand into markets around the world.

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REPerformance Inc, a digital physical education startup, was one of eight companies selected by Ottawa to participate in the prestigious Canadian Technology Accelerator Program in Silicon Valley.

“It’s almost happening because of the pandemic,” said Callen McGibbon, REPerformance founder and CEO. “We’ve already been through four out of eight weeks. Eight promising tech startups have been selected by the federal government. We are in close contact with professionals, people in technology, and tech companies in Silicon Valley.”

Silicon Valley is an area near San Francisco in Northern California that serves as a global center for high technology and innovation.

With the CTA programme, paid for by Ottawa, McGibbon said, “There’s a lot of work. We get some one-on-one time with people. The goal is to introduce us to international markets — venture capitalists. That’s the goal.”

McGibbon has been a strength and conditioning coach for 18 years, has run a company called Laurentian’s Healthy Living for about 15 years and has worked with athletes involved in university programs.

It was a training session with National Hockey League player Nick Foligno from Sudbury over a year ago that led to the creation of REPerformanceInc.

“We were rehearsing at his house,” McGibbon recalls. “The children (Foligno) would raise their chairs and watch us through the window. They saw that exercise was part of everyday life. An idea was born: no one was left behind.”

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McGibbon said REPerformance has evolved and transformed several times in its short history, including becoming a mobile app. It didn’t hurt, he said, that the coronavirus pandemic has made society re-examine its attitudes toward fitness and exercise and that they contribute significantly to a person’s growth, mental health and well-being.

REPerformance used to be based in the Ben Avery entertainment complex on the Laurentian University campus, but is now located at 1942 Regent St. In the Four Corners area. REPerformance consists of eight employees, including McGibbon, four full-time employees, and a business development manager.

This month, the Sudbury Catalyst Fund, a venture capital fund based in Greater Sudbury, announced the closing of a $220,000 investment in REPerformance Inc.

“REPerformance has combined a unique business model and software platform with an invaluable big data/AI opportunity to not only support student well-being but also to change how we define and enhance athletic potential,” Don Duvall, Co-Director of Sudbury Catalyst Fund Partner and CEO of Northern Technology Center advanced, in a statement. “We are excited about Callen McGibbon’s exceptional leadership and REPerformance’s continued growth in the marketplace.”

The Sudbury Catalyst Fund is a unique $5 million seed capital fund managed by Nickel Basin Federal Development Corporation in association with the City of Greater Sudbury, FedNor and NORCAT.

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Developed by REPerformance is an all-in-one program that helps a teacher, coach or other person to create individualized fitness and wellness programs and activities for students/athletes based on their fitness and skill levels. The program “trains” through a “Remarkable Effort” or RPEs recorded by the students/athletes used. After a specified period, students/athletes can also provide input about their training programs and adjustments can be made up or down to better suit personal needs.

“We are a software producer,” McGibbon said. “We provide a digital solution… Really, what we are driving is the ability to rationalize the physical experience as a team event… The product is applicable in every sport. It is a physical education management system.”

Previously, school physical education programs were one-size-fits-all experiences for students, McGibbon said.

“Phys ed is a very unique course,” he said. “It is not the same as Mathematics: the student passes the test or fails. Everyone is at a different level physically and in developmental development. It is very difficult for a physical education teacher in our modern world to prepare a program for each student… How will the teacher develop 30 individual fitness plans for students at different levels from evolution?”

With REPerformance, McGibbon said, “Students can learn at their own pace…You have the ability to impart physical literacy.”

The CEO said an instructor who subscribes to REPerformance and intends to introduce it in gym classes can attend a 30-minute training session to learn about the product and how to use it.

“It’s constantly evolving,” McGibbon said. “There are always some features that are added to the product. We have a very active customer.”

As of April, REPerformance is in use in 31 schools across three districts and three different school boards.

hcarmichael@postmedia.com

Twitter: @HaroldCarmichae

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