Student entrepreneur develops weightlifting monitor to track performance

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Published on The Badger Herald
A University of Wisconsin-Madison computer science student recently developed a wearable weightlifting monitor for football teams to track the lifting performance of their players — only one of his many entrepreneurship undertakings.
Daniel Litvak, a Los Angeles-raised young entrepreneur, was in Oshkosh Monday morning to launch his latest product, WeightUp Solutions, with the UW-Oshkosh football team.The computerized monitor he created consists of two wearables on each workout station in the weight room, Litvak said. Every athlete has his own magnet-embedded strap, which the station wearables can attach to. When athletes walk around to do different exercises, they can hook the wearables on their straps, type in their IDs and record the sets, he said.

Litvak said the data will be reported to the football coaches to increase training efficiency.

“We’re looking at more than just counting their reps and sets, but actually looking at their form, looking at whether or not they’re doing exactly what [they’re asked], looking at their tempo, their velocity,” Litvak said. “So if they’re doing a squat, are they actually going down all the way every time, or are they getting tired and not going all the way down.”

Litvak’s drive for entrepreneurship dates back to his high school years in LA, when he started a web development firm to help professionals like doctors and lawyers build their websites. When he moved to Madison in 2011 for college, he teamed up with a floormate to start a music blog called Metro Jolt. But it could not generate much revenue and so he decided to drop it to try something else.

Litvak shifted gears and ventured into the market of mobile applications. He cofounded Fetch Rewards, which gives rewards to those who shop in partnering grocery stores and pay with the app.

Litvak dropped out of UW-Madison after his sophomore year to work on the development of Fetch Rewards. After two semesters off, he decided to return to school and finish his degree.

Moving forward, Litvak said he will stay in Madison to grow his two businesses, and continue to promote them and expand their market reach.

Being an entrepreneur is not easy, Litvak said, but he enjoys the thrill of a “roller coaster-like journey” with a new challenge to tackle everyday.

“There are definite moments that you’re just like ‘it would be so much easier if I just worked at a big company and I just got a paycheck,’” he said. “But at the end of the day, being able to build a product, distribute it to people and see them. .. enjoy using it … makes all of it worthwhile.”

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