Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 14, 2012.

Update #54

Oops, we did it again!

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The next batch of Bia's just hit the USPS. 405 for right now. Here is where they went:

The blue dots are this current batch. The green dots are the previous batch.

If one of those dots belongs to you, we have already emailed you a shipping notice with your tracking number. If you didn't receive a tracking number don't worry. Your Bia is DEFINITELY in the next batch coming from China. All of our backorders will be fulfilled in this next batch! That final batch is slated for early to mid-April (all the GoSticks have been built. We see all 1500 pinging our servers every night!) and you know we'll share more details as we get them. 

Here's how this batch went down.

  • All the last "custom" orders to the US went out: His and Hers, Engraving, etc.
  • Everyone who backed us through KICKSTARTER and ordered a COLOR watch and lives in the US will be getting their Bia in this batch...with the exception of a few folks who ordered Firefly, like my parents.
  • We sent as many Silver watches out to original KICKSTARTER backers in the US as we could. Wherever possible we prioritized by the order in which you backed us. This was not a pretty process to hand-transcribe and numerically sort piles of orders. If your Silver Bia is NOT in this batch it will be the first to go out in the next batch.
  • We worked diligently with our supplier and I am stoked to say that Bia's from this batch are heading to Canada! We are going to try to ship all COLOR orders (minus firefly) to KICKSTARTER backers from CANADA by early next week. Your shipping notices will come soon. Stay tuned. 

Most watches were still shipped with one watch band. If you are due a 2nd band, we will ship those out in April when the final supply arrives from our vendor...and there maybe another fun thing or two included in that extra shipment. ;-)

And final news....

We just started pushing the next update out to users. This update includes improvements to run pace, the much-asked-for automatic mile splits during your run, and a great little "end of workout" usability improvement based directly on YOUR feedback. Since this is our first time doing it outside of our field test crew, we are going to roll this update out slowly over the next week.  You'll see it when it happens. 

Keep the feedback coming. We can't wait to see 405 new Bia's get fired up online!!

C2K & the Team


Update #53

First 500: A Recap

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What's in this update (besides LOTS of pictures):

  • Shipping Status
  • Results from the first 500
  • Roadmap for the next month
  • Our favorite watchband hacks

I know there are only 500 (actually 470) of you that are going to read this update. The other 2000 of you are just going to scan it for the FedEx tracking number of the next batch of units to leave China. Right?

Shipping Status

The next 500 units are built and packed but I do NOT have a tracking number from China yet. I am hoping if i type reallllllly slooooow I'll have it before I hit send on this update.  They are in the temporary bermuda triangle of "shipping but not yet shipped" in the special trade zone at the Hong Kong border. It's like a customs cone-of-silence where people and packages are impervious to the social media cries of "is mine there yet. is mine there yet." 

Luckily the Bia team never sleeps (literally). We are pre-prepping for another week of Packamonium 2014 in our warehouse; the customs desk in Anchorage is on speed-dial; and the label printer is warming up as I type. 

Also the next 1500 Bia's are well underway. We saw first-round testing of 800 GoSticks pop up on the server this weekend. 

Our manufacturing partner has indicated all 1500 units will be complete by early April. Obviously we'll do some negotiating to see if they can ship them to us in partial batches. Stay tuned.

The First 500: How did it go? 

Here is where they went - lots of them to cold places.

Which is why these numbers - through Sunday - really blew our minds:

And here are some of our favorite initial reviews. We really appreciate your spreading the word, and definitely letting folks know Bia is real and worth the wait as we work to get every one of our pre-orders shipped.  

From Paulette Ference,  our first full review on her blog Just Keep Running!

And from Katie Sweeney, our first unboxing video!

Everything wasn't perfect though. There were plenty of snafus as you'd expect with the first shipment of a brand new product. We were happy though, because you told us!

On the plus side, none of the problems were insurmountable. In fact most of them will be addressed before the next 500 go out. 

We had a few folks that received bad units (9 out of 940 pieces shipped is less than 1%). We swapped them out quickly. None of the problems we saw were new and they all go to inform our testing processes. 

The big jump in the number of products in use also helped us a find:

  • A brand new bug. It was a total "edge case" related to pushing pause right after starting a workout. Thank you Leslie. The fix rolls out next week.
  • A rare lock up on the touchscreen that we finally were able to solve. Thank you Brie. The fix rolls out next week.
  • And we also saw a few cases where GoSticks needed quick resets because of "sticky LED's" or "hiccups" in the cellular modem or accelerometer. The hiccups are beyond our control but we can add changes on our side so these hiccups fix themselves invisibly behind the scenes so you won't even notice. Some of those fixes will roll out this week. Some we want to test a little longer before rolling out. Some we probably haven't seen to figure out yet. 

Roadmap for the next month: What's Next?  

Hot off yesterday's whiteboard:
  • Beta means the changes roll to our testers. 
  • OTA stands for "over the air" and means we start rolling them out to the Bia's on your wrists. 
  • China means we cut them over to the production process in China so we don't have to update devices when they arrive in the US. 

These dates are obviously subject to change - but it's what we are gunning for. 

Pace smoothing improvements solve the 00:00 problem that has cropped up for a few folks. So far I am very happy with the changes but will put them to the full test tomorrow on Yassos and a sharp-cornered run through the alley (trust me, i don't always run there!) And, yes, you are seeing automatic mile splits on that list (sort like below but slower)!! 

We are also working on some usability improvements based on early customer feedback that don't show up on this list yet. And if you missed our sneak peak at "longer battery life" this weekend, THIS happened:

I know a number of folks have been asking about Walk/Run and Autopause. Both are coming. Both have other dependancies which is why we are not addressing them until the 2nd half of April, but it should go quick once we start. The final hard things after that are pool lap-counting and LIVE! tracking. 

Please just give our team a little time. We want to make sure every experience is working great for folks instead of rushing things. 

Favorite Hacks

Watchbands are still on my personal To Improve list, but but that doesn't mean I'm not inspired by a good watchband hack.

With a RoadID Elite (or Sport...anything but the Slim)

Or with a loop keeper for extra security on the open water swim.

That's it for now. We will send a shipping update when we have something more to share.

C2K & The Team


Update #52

#ShipHappens x 500.

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After 2-days, 500 packages, and a post-pack celebration over all-you-can-eat-sushi, I think the whole team spent Sunday in "aero" position.

I am not sure what was more impactful: Shipping 500 units (which is a WHOLE lot) or knowing that this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have another 2,000+ units to go! 

If you were in the first batch, you should have a shipping number in your email box this morning. If you were not in this first batch, just sit tight. We are back at it this morning getting the remaining Bia's built and in-house, prepped, and shipped throughout the month. We'll update you as it happens. 

This is our postal carrier. We filled her truck to the brim TWICE on Saturday, and she has a few dozen straggler packages to pick up from us today. 

This is backer-turned-packer Amanda taking her Bia home with her!

We are shipping *roughly* in order of how you backed us with a few key exceptions:

  • We needed to take all the complexity out of the system so we could outsource the kitting and shipping process when the next 500 and the 1500 after that, so *exceptional" orders moved to the front of the line: mainly His&Hers and anything with engraving.
  • We had to adjust to fit the watch/watchband combinations we had in house, mainly lots of "Man-bands" and very few Firefly watches.
  • And then there was the last minute hustle when both CRM export and our label printer decided to go all "Bermuda Triangle" on us. Our postal rep was at the back door with her truck as Jen slow-rolled helping her load the truck while the rest of us frantically cut & pasted & macro'd & stuck from CRM to Word to Excel to CSV to ReadyShipper to our label printer to our packages. And then we had to discard every third label becaus it mis-printed, and ignore the 4 blank labels between every usable label and .....sigh.

 Seriously, respect logistics. We have lots to beef up (and outsource) on this front over the next few weeks! We knew this was coming and growing pains are good.

Alright, back to work for us. More updates coming soon.

C2K & the Team


Update #51

FedEx Tracking Number 803941103615

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Good news!

The watchbands are on their way! They are in the air and slated to arrive at our office tomorrow. We are pre-kitting the first 500 Bia's right now so that they are just waiting for final pack-out when those bands arrive. 

I just made that sound WAY easier than it really is. 

By the time USPS comes for their scheduled pickup of the first 500 Bia's on Friday at 12:30pm PST we will have:

  • Pulled several near-all-nighters;
  • Deployed a fleet of Task Rabbits (ok actually just 2) to drive across NorCal picking up last minute product labels to replace a snafu on the ones applied in China;
  • Built industrial shelves to house all the packaging material that has arrived. 160 cubic feet is WAY bigger in real life than it is on paper - doh!;
  • Spent at least 8 hours pouring over the thermal label printer cursing out the holy trifecta of Stamps.com, Endicia, and ReadyShipper;
  • Taken a crash course in laser-etching;
  • Used up 2 bottles of Febreze;
  • Worn out a rubber mallet (no, really);

The second batch of 500 Bia's are scheduled to ship from China at the end of next week.

Then the remaining 2,000 on this first order are slated for mid-March. Once we get rolling this is going to go fast. 

Before You Ask....

You will receive a shipping notice and tracking number via email when your Bia hits the mail. PLEASE (pretty please) don't email us to ask us if your Bia has shipped yet. 

Stymied By Softgoods

Ok, so this wouldn't be a backer update without a hitch....

Watchbands are on the way. We are getting enough, and in all the right colors, to avoid any further delays in shipping. However......the way the vendor split up our order we will only be able to initially send out one watchband with each watch. Many of you are slated to get two watchbands. This means that we are going to get lots of practice shipping because we get to do it twice! 

Woot woot! Start up glory at its finest!!

The real irony here is that of all aspects of the product, it's the watchband I am least happy with. So maybe it's OK we'll get more practice sending out extra bands. You'll probably see us do it a couple of more times as we improve them over the next handful of months. 

Ok back to work. We'll send more pictures as we package stuff up to go!

C2K


Update #50

Lead by Example

Comment

Packaging has arrived. Temp help is scheduled. And watches are gathering dust waiting for watchbands. [Still promised to ship to us on the 21st] We could not possibly be any closer to getting this frustrating, improbable, gorgeous, brilliant, magical, by-the-skin-of-our-teeth, washing-machine-proof, #$@&%*! product on your wrist.

We've shared the ups and downs of product development these past 18 months. But we have been zip-lipped about one thing: Funding.

It costs more than $2.5M to bring Bia to market. Angel investors, seed funds, venture capital; they consume a big part of our time. And it has NOT been easy. To say most of them are very different from us and our customers would be an understatement.

Forbes published an article that captures some of the frustration we've experienced funding Bia. Read it HERE. It also conveys the enormous upside that occurs when women step-up as angel investors to fund female entrepreneurs.

Lead By Example

Every backer is an investor in our success. Six of our backers made a bigger bet on us. They approached us to become full angel investors. 

  • Their investments ranged from $5,000 to $125,000, based on their means and their investing comfort level. 
  • Most were first time angel investors. A few were seasoned pros. 
  • All now own a piece of Bia. 

 We just opened a new funding round. Since there is such a big benefit to having investors that are more like our customers, we are doing things differently this time around. We are talking publicly about our funding and inviting qualified backers to become be angel investors in Bia.

Current investors include Lemnos Labs and 500 Startups, but nothing would thrill me more to have the backers that believed in us from the start involved in an even more impactful way.

Interested? You can check us out our investor profile and details of our raise on Fundable, or on Angel List, or email us directly at founders@bia-sport.com.

Spread the Word

Angel investing is clearly not appropriate for everyone. But everyone does have a voice and some friends. So let's make some noise! Help us spread the word on our raise AND share our special pre-order discount with your friends.

Tweet 1: I'm a proud @biasport backer. Let's help them nail their current raise http://ow.ly/tK02W These women know how to get $#!* done! RT

Tweet 2: Data shows female founders get more done with less. @biasport is proof. Let's nail this fundraise http://ow.ly/tK02W and #changethratio

Tweet 3: What a great review of @biasport by DC Rainmaker. http://bit.ly/M6sQLL I can't wait to get mine! Have you ordered yours?

URL to Share on Facebook and Email: http://bit.ly/RockYourWrist

Now back to work. We are going to get VERY busy VERY soon.

C2K & the Waiting-for-Watchbands Team


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    CHEER US ON! Every little bit counts and every Bia backer makes us stronger. You get a big thank you on our website and regular updates as we field test and move through production. Plus you'll feel great.

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    JOIN THE TEAM! In addition to a thank-you and progress updates, you'll get a free band if you order a Bia sports watch when we ship this spring.

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    SPREAD THE WORD. We send you a super cute Bia tech running shirt now and a free band if you order a Bia sports watch when we ship this spring. ..and of course, the thank-you and progress updates.

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    GET THE WATCH. Get one black/silver Bia sports watch with your choice of solid colored band. This will retail for $129. (Bia GPS Go Stick not included in this reward.)

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    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL. Kick it up with some color! Just like the $99 award EXCEPT you can choose any color watch with matching solid band (turquoise, firefly or pink) plus a 2nd band of your choice, solid or print.

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    NEW! ADD A SHIRT. This is the $129 backer reward plus a Bia tech shirt in your choice of color. Sport some Bia pride while we are hard at work getting ready to rock your wrist with a Bia. Shirts ship in July.

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    FULL MULTI-SPORT BAD@SS. Add GPS! Get one black/silver Bia sports watch, any solid band AND a Bia GPS Go Stick. This will retail for at *least* $249. The equivalent multi-sport device from Garmin costs $349.

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    FOR THE GUYS. Don't be the dork "locating satellites" while the women leave you in the dust. Your black/silver Bia sports watch comes with a Bia GPS Go Stick and an extra long black band for male wrists. The equivalent multi-sport device from Garmin costs $349. You know you want it!

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    NEW! ADD A GUYS SHIRT: This is the $209 backer reward plus a limited edition men's version of the Bia tech shirt. It will be the same great fabric but in black with a rounded neck and the Bia logo on the back like the women's shirt - but without the flower design on the front. Shirts ship in July.

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    SPORT YOUR STYLE. Kick it up with some color! Just like the $199 award EXCEPT you can choose any color watch with matching solid band (turquoise, firefly or pink) plus a 2nd band of your choice, solid or print - and the GPS Go Stick of course.

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    NEW! ADD A SHIRT. This is the $249 backer reward plus a Bia tech shirt in your choice of color. Sport some Bia pride while we are hard at work getting ready to rock your wrist with a Bia. Shirts ship in July.

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    BEST. GIFT. EVER. Make her the envy of all her friends this holiday. Just like the $249 award PLUS a 3rd band, engraving, a peace of mind subscription and a Bia tech shirt. In early December, we'll send the shirt with a card announcing your gift. The rest arrives in April.

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    HIS & HERS: Our first backer-requested reward! Two Bia sports watches, each with it's own GPS Go Stick. One is black/silver with an extra long band for him. The other is in your choice of color with a coordinating solid band for her.

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    NEW! ADD A SHIRT. This is the $419 backer reward plus a Bia tech shirt in your choice of color. Sport some Bia pride while we are hard at work getting ready to rock your wrist with a Bia. Shirts ship in July.

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    NEW! ADD HIS & HER SHIRTS. This is the $419 backer reward plus Bia tech shirts for two. Women's comes in choice of colors. Men's will be black with the Bia logo on back (but no flowers design in the front.) Sport some Bia pride while we are hard at work getting ready to rock your wrist with a Bia. Shirts ship in July.

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    KICK-BUTT. Betty Designs works with you to design your own custom watch band! We include five of your custom bands along with any color Bia sports watch and a Bia GPS Go Stick engraved with your name or motivational mantra.

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    BE FIRST. Help us field test Bia this summer. You get a Bia tech shirt and one of the first pre-production Bia units. As part of our testing team your feedback impacts the final product and future development. Then we'll replace your test unit with a brand new Bia sports watch in any color, two bands, and a Bia GPS Go Stick engraved with your name or motivational mantra. PLUS we'll give you a second set of everything to gift to a friend!

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    RUN WITH IT! Every awesome part of the $279 reward: the shirt! the Bia sport watch in any color! the Bia GPS Go Stick! watch bands galore! plus monogramming on your new Bia GPS Go Stick. And Cheryl or Sylvia will be your running buddy for a race somewhere in the US!

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    ALL IN: Combine everything from the $600 and the $1000 backer rewards. You'll be one of the first Bia field testers and you'll have your own custom watch band. Plus either Sylvia or Cheryl will come run a race with you. (please nothing too painful and the race should be in the US.)

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    RESELLER PACK + LADIES NIGHT: 15 Bia watches each with a GPS Go Stick. Any color with coordinating solid color band. Plus if you are in the US, Cheryl or Sylvia will visit for an in-store demo and ladies night.

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    FOR A CAUSE: Pay it forward while giving back. Get 20 watch/GPS Go Stick bundles in any color all with a custom designed band representing your cause. Bia will sell them as a limited edition design and donate all the proceeds to the charity of your choice.

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    ALMOST FAMOUS. Send us your ideas and we design a custom watch face that ships as part of every Bia sports watch. This reward also includes any color sports watch, two bands, an engraved Bia GPS Go Stick, and a tech shirt. PLUS we'll give you a second set of everything to gift to a friend!

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    LOVE AND GOODNESS. Know that you are supporting the creation of the first and best women's GPS sports watch and that you have the gratitude of the entire Bia team as Bia gets to the wrists of women athletes everywhere. (And you can have any reward from the list up to $5k if you'd like.)

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    TOP OF THE CHARTS. You have the undying appreciation of the entire Bia team, and of every Bia fan, as you support the creation of the very first women's GPS sports watch -- and by extension, women athletes everywhere. Thank you so very very much. Choose any reward option offered if you would like.

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    ONE OF A KIND. We will make a Bia sports watch in your own custom color anodized aluminum, with a custom watch face based on your idea. Betty Designs works with you to create a coordinating custom strap design. We'll send you 5 Bia sports watches in your custom color, each with 3 of your custom bands and each with a Bia GPS Go Stick engraved with the name or motivational mantra of your choice.

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