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January 4, 2008 at 12:01 AM

Sweat365 hopes to cash in on your new year promises

At the beginning of every year, millions of Americans make resolutions to get in shape and lose weight.

Sweat365 couldn’t have better timing.

Four days after the ball dropped, the Seattle-based company is launching an online social network to help people keep their word.

The company was co-founded by Brad Hefta-Gaub, a former executive at RealNetworks and Revenue Science, who said his desk-bound job made it a struggle to stay in shape. But he managed to work hard to go from 36 percent body fat to a two-time Ironman.

Sweat365 is sort of a cyberspace gym where people gather to talk about work-out preferences. For registered users, the site provides a blogging platform, fitness tracking tools and training information.

But Hefta-Gaub said the beauty of it is that average people are giving advice to people like themselves rather than experts speaking down to them.

“Everyone starts giving that support. They give that peer feedback on to how to achive the goals,” he said. “At a site that comes from traditional media, only experts can tell you how to train or lose weight.”

That also may be the beauty of the business model.

Although he expects to pay professionals for some information and advice, getting content and advice from registered individuals is free. Of course, he also suspects ads will play a role.

Sweat365 is the outcome of a beta conducted by Konamoxt, the company’s parent’s name. Eventually Hefta-Gaub sees Konamoxt developing as a media company with a group of community-driven sites built on the platform Sweat365 is using. Other ideas are food and wine, self-help and continuing education.

For now, it’s just Sweat365.

The company is funded by Hefta-Gaub and another co-founder, Phil Sabin, formerly with Revenue Science and

They may raise a round of venture-capital next.

This is just a guess, but Ignition Partners could be involved — Sweat365 quoted Ignition Partner Steve Hooper in today’s press release.

Turns out that in the site’s early trial days, Hooper participated in a promotion surrounding the Las Vegas Marathon. Hefta-Gaub said the community kept Hooper going, allowing him to complete the 13-or-so miles.

Hooper said in the release: “The training tools on the Web site are easy to use and insightful, and the members are tremendously encouraging. Publicly declaring my fitness goals helps me stay accountable to my training schedule. Since joining Sweat365, I have trained for and completed my first half marathon and I have now set my sights on completing a full marathon. This has truly been a life-changing tool.”

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