Tidbits from our interview with Zealios co-founder Kevin Fuller.
I interviewed Fuller more than two months ago for a Launch profile. Although the startup founder admitted he had yet to compete in a triathlon — ironic as his sunscreen startup caters to the sport — his sunny disposition and quick thinking mimicked that of the runners he serves.
Here are a few Fuller quotes that didn’t make it into the original story:
What it’s like to be in the triathlete business:
“(Triathletes) are brand loyal customers. Once they find products they like they’re very happy to share with other triathlete friends. That’s a lot of fun for us because we don’t work off a big budget. [Co-founder Autin Britts and I] haven’t gotten a second round of investment money because we’re trying to grow from within.”
“We [worked] a couple of triathlons and once we launched it just made sense. Triathletes are in a much smaller market. Trying to go after each market individually would be difficult for a small company.”
“For two guys that have never done a triathlon to try and learn the industry, we’ve had a lot of great people help us and introduce us with others. It’s been an amazing ride learning about triathlons and dealing with all the people within it.”
On relocating from the Bay area:
“From that first trip to Bend, we saw this whole other side. There’s a huge sector in Bend of small startup businesses, young companies and they have a great community that they’ve established here. That’s what really made us want to move our company up here.”
“In the Bay, if it’s not a tech company, nobody really cares about you.”
How he stays motivated:
“There’s so many different things that keep us motivated, sometimes it’s different when you start a company. It’s not always steady, you have highs and lows. Rarely anything the middle. Recently, especially when we go out to events and being here with the business community in Bend, just chatting with people is one of the things that keeps us motivated. We’ve had parents who come up who are so thankful that we are there and just love our product. We know the products we put out in the market are very good and we’re proud. We don’t put any fluff, our products are good.”
“Since it was our first business it’s kind of our baby and it’s an amazing industry where we get to go out and interact with athletes. People are cut from the same cloth so it’s not very tough to motivate ourselves to go out and talk with these people.”