Marketing executive Ari Segal started a half marathon training regime in 2013. While running at night was the most practical option for his busy work schedule, he found that existing reflective activewear on the market failed to be both a safeguard and fashionable.
“I’m a passionate runner, and wanted to provide night runners with the confidence to exercise in darker areas,” said Ari.
Knowing that he was also a runner and a biomedical engineer too, Ari went to his long-time friend Ryan Savitz with the idea to create their own product for exercising at night.
The two buddies from Sydney’s Bondi Beach sought to combine their skills in engineering, marketing and sales beyond the scope of their day jobs to develop a new business concept that aligned with their personal passions.
A start-up born of frustration
The pair spoke to runners and cyclists about the missing elements in Hi-Viz activewear.
“There was a common theme with their responses – uncomfortable, unsafe and unfashionable,” Ryan told Anthill. “Nightro Athletic was born out of frustration with the existing Hi-Viz market for exercising at night”
The two co-founders identified a gap in the market to make runners and cyclists more visible to oncoming traffic which would ultimately make their exercising much safer.
In fact, statistics released by the Australian Road Deaths Database reveal that 70 pedestrian fatalities were recorded nationwide in 2013 as a result of road crashes after 6pm.
They teamed up with a leading wearable tech export to create a unique product design and after many hours of trialling and testing different prototypes, they came to a solution.
Nightro Athletic uses a patented conductive fabric to power wearable LED lights. The lightweight LEDs are attached to a stand-out reflective quick-dry t-shirt to allow 360-degree visibility without comprising comfort and style.
What sets Nightro Athletic apart from the rest?
Ryan highlighted the unique qualities of their product, pointing out that the Nightro Athletic activewear is stylish, lightweight and washable.
“High visibility over-vests are bulky, restrictive and daggy. Our range overcomes all of these constraints. The sleek design provides the user with the comfort as if the LED lights were never there,” he remarked.
“Nightro Athletic is unique because it is designed to be worn both day and night. For day exercise, Nightro t-shirts can be worn without the LEDs connected. At night or in low-visibility areas, the LED strap can be attached to the Nightro t-shirt for high visibility.”
“Also, most activewear on the market has a very minor element of reflective material. Our product utilises a special reflective-tech print. This reflective print can be any colour during the day (black, blue, white etc), but at night becomes highly reflective,” Ryan added.
Todd Ridge, owner of the Running Company at Bondi Beach, has endorsed the new range.
“We have seen a real increase in the number of our customers choosing to exercise at night – and Nightro will pave, or more importantly, light their way”, Todd said.
The start-up has been working with a world class wearable electronics manufacturer and is now at the stage of being ready for full scale production.
Ari and Ryan just recently launched their Kickstarter page, and are seeking support for the product from the crowdfunding community to bring Nightro Athletic to life.