Aaron Davidson is the CEO of Cronometer, a Revelstoke-based company that offers an accurate and comprehensive app and website that tracks diet, nutrition, exercise and more.
What started as a side project 15 years ago has now turned into a company that employs about 20 people.
Cronometer is part of the Venture Acceleration Program (VAP), and KAST has had the honour to witness this growing success story over the past several years.
We caught up with Aaron to find out a bit more about Cronometer, learn about Aaron’s challenges, successes and more.
Tell us about your business!
Cronometer is a tracking app (and website) that tracks your diet, exercise, and other health data in ridiculous detail. I started it as a personal hobby project in 2005 to track my own nutrition. In 2011, I turned it into a small hobby business, launching a new version as a cloud based software service/app.
What has the journey been like so far for your business?
For many years it languished as I was busy in other full time start-ups, so it really just got minimum attention on evenings and weekends to keep it running. Despite the neglect, it grew every year until in 2016 when it got large enough that I had enough revenue. We hired our first employee and I started transitioning away from my other job to spend more time on it. In 2017, I was full-time and started hiring a team locally in Revelstoke. Today we have over 20 staff, and are continuing to grow steadily.
Tell us about your biggest challenge and your biggest win.
The biggest challenge has been the fact that we’ve been bootstrapping the business all this time, without raising money from investors. Our growth has always been constrained by this, as we can only grow when we have profits to reinvest into the company. It can be frustrating to wait patiently for that to happen. On the flipside, this is also our biggest win. No investors means we don’t answer to any! We get to work on our own terms and pace. Makes it much easier to have a good work/life balance and a fun work environment.
What sets you apart from other businesses?
Our unique selling position is having a more detailed, accurate nutrition database along with all the fancy analytics and tools to work with that data. Other diet trackers on the market are oversimplified toys by comparison. They are great for basic use cases (like counting calories or keeping a journal), but for anything more complicated or difficult, we really shine.
How has the Venture Acceleration Program (VAP) helped you in your business?
The best part of the VAP program has been the regular calls and help with EIRs [Executives in Residence] — getting mentorship and advice, as well as lots of solid leads and introductions for networking and services. It’s been incredibly helpful.
Are you curious about our Venture Acceleration Program (VAP)? If you’re an early-stage entrepreneur developing innovative technology-driven products or services, join the VAP today! This 6-12 month program offers you a disciplined approach to growing and taking your business to market. You will have access to a one-to-one coaching with an experienced Executive in Residence (EiR) and you’ll be part of a passionate community of Kootenay tech entrepreneurs.