Tech Startup: StandLogix
New software measures the use of standing desks
Tech Startup: StandLogix
Initial Lightbulb: Founder and CEO Erik Carver was in a motorcycle accident in 2006. "I was working a sales desk job and quickly realized I couldn't sit down for more than 30, 40 minutes without parts of my body going numb," he remembers. "Standing was the holy grail for me. It eliminated or reduced all of my pain."
After running construction companies for a few years, Carver got into the standing-desk business with The unDesk in 2012. The Arvada-based white-labeling company marketed predominately imported standing desks.
Sales of the expensive products hit the wall quickly; repeat customers were rare. "People weren't using them," Carver says, likening standing desks at the office to treadmills at home. "You might use it a couple times, then you start hanging laundry on it."
So he spun a new company, StandLogix, out of the since-shuttered unDesk, to motivate people to stand more at work. Based at Catalyst HTI in Denver's RiNo Art District, Carver works with CTO Michael Munger and a network of contractors and consultants.
In a Nutshell: Carver says StandLogix gives employers a "way to measure and manage the utilization of a standing desk."
A puck-shaped node detects standing desk usage and records each user's data anonymously. "It's like a Fitbit for a desk," he adds. "We don't sell standing desks. We sell software that makes them smarter."
StandLogix completed an 18-month pilot with MGMA, an Englewood-based health-care industry association, in early 2018. The result? "We were able to drive a 294 percent increase in movement," Carver says, which translates to employee wellness. "Your body is designed to move."
Shelly Waggoner, vice president of human resources and customer experience at MGMA, says the organization began buying standing desks in the mid-2010s and now has about 30 in all.
Gamification more than doubled user engagement during the pilot. "The bottom line is the more we gamified it, the better results we got," Waggoner says. There were rewards, but Waggoner says "bragging rights" proved an even bigger motivator.
Moving workers means more productive workers: MGMA employees reported being more productive, aware and alert using the StandLogix system. It also made for better return on investment on pricey standing desks.
"They talk about how they feel more energized," Waggoner says. "Our staff continues to use them. I continue to have a wait list of people who want them."
Munger and Carver refined the platform in 2018 for an early 2019 launch. The long-term plans are to sell the platform to manufacturers of standing desks and the anonymized data to insurers.
"We're creating a unique physical activity data stream of people working at desks," Carver says. About 80 million people work at desks in the U.S., he adds, and each sedentary employee costs companies $3,500 annually. "We allow self-insured employee groups to leverage this data for stop-loss insurers."
The Market: Standing desks are the fastest growing HR benefit since 2016, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Carver says industry analysts estimate there will be 11.3 million standing desks worldwide by 2020. The market is growing at a double-digit rate and forecast to hit $3 billion by 2025.
But the StandLogix business model is tied more to the data play. Insurers are "not in the business of making less money," Carver says. "They're in the business of retaining customers."
Financing: "We've brought in about $400,000 in seed capital," Carver says. He says StandLogix will pursue a Series A round or strategic investment in the neighborhood of $1 million in early 2019.