Live - K

Compete when you want





Live-K is a running app for competitive runners to self-host races and compete for cash rewards.

Users can map their own courses while they are out on a run. Users can also put their money where their mouth is to prove that they’re the fastest when competing against their friends.

Founder, Andrew Tanner, is a personal trainer and running coach who was piecing together ideas to create a workout app while training clients to compete in races.

One of Andrew’s clients complained about a bad experience she had with a recent race. Stating it was the worst race she had ever competed in, with no parking and a ridiculously early registration time, she wished that she could just race whenever she wanted. Her story was the spark of inspiration for Live-K.

Honing in on the inspiration, Andrew took the idea for Live-K and pitched it to Digital Sandbox KC. Digital Sandbox saw potential in Live-K and awarded Andrew the proof-of-concept grant, earning him $25,000 for development in early 2017.



Project Category

Mobile App

App Category


Venture Phase


Client Highlight

MVP test in 3 states w/ over 100 users

What We Did

  • tick Strategy Consultation

  • tick UX/UI Design

  • tick MVP Development




Like many entrepreneurs, Andrew had big ideas. His vision for Live-K was quite ambitious.

In his search for developers, Andrew could not find anyone who would be able to get a tangible version of his idea within his development budget.

Enter Lean Start Lab.

In our initial meeting with Andrew, he shared with us his number one priority was to create a testable version of Live-K that he could put in the hands of his users.

As our name suggests, Lean Start Lab is all about the lean startup methodology, which urges entrepreneurs to only build the features which are absolutely necessary to test the riskiest assumptions of their startups.

We reviewed Live-K’s product requirements and right away saw that it needed to be put on a diet.

“Getting us a cost-effective prototype, that's the biggest thing. We can test it with a group. We exist, it's not just a concept anymore it is out there. Most people who have a concept for an app are stuck in that phase.”





The first step we took in collaboration with Andrew was to define Live-K’s Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

Using the principles of the lean methodology, we discussed which features Live-K needed to immediately test with real users to gather feedback as well as the features we could backlog in this phase.

We then created a leaner feature list which only contains what we agreed was absolutely necessary for Live-K to cover the main use case and validate the product concept.

The feature prioritization kept the MVP development cost within Live-K's budget, which earned Digital Sandbox's approval for the project kickoff.


The next step was design. In this phase, we put ourselves in the user's shoes and created a comprehensive flowchart to map the user journey.

We then wireframed the main use cases in the user journey, which allowed us to focus on the right detail to discuss and refine.

Once the wireframe has been reviewed and approved by the Live-K team, we moved to the visual design process where we created high-fidelity app screens.

The high-fidelity app screens were linked with hotspots to create an interactive prototype, which helps us see how the app flows before we even wrote a single line of code.

As soon as the design detail for the main use cases were in place, we began development.

Like-k solution image

“The prototype came so fast, and you had it developed so fast, I think that was awesome. And it worked! It worked great. And I’d say that was the best part of the experience.”


The 1st functional app came out a few weeks after, which allow Andrew and the Live-K team to put it in the hands of real users to start testing and gathering feedback.

The user feedback guided the next iterations of the functional app and helped us prioritize which features we should add and refine.

We repeated this feedback loop until we arrived at Live-K's MVP. With the MVP in hand, Andrew began to pitch Live-K to presidents of running clubs.

He demoed how Live-K works and convinced 3 running clubs to incorporate Live-K into their weekend routines. Live-K now had access to hundreds of active users who could consistently provide the Live-K team with valuable feedback to improve and evolve the Live-K app.

“When you’re trying to get a tech company off the ground, to have something that’s more than just a concept is so valuable. It’s probably the thing that I have learned most in terms of opening doors for ourselves."

Live-k mobile app gif




  • tick Lean feature list

  • tick Feasibility research

  • tick Definition of demo-able prototype

  • tick Demos to target users and potential customers to gauge interest

  • tick Definition of Minimum Viable Product

  • tick Pitch to Digital Sandbox

  • tick $25,000 in proof-of-concept funding for MVP development project

“We actually have something that makes people take us seriously as a company. Now I can pull my phone out and put it in front of them [investors], open it up, and show them it exists. It brings more of a wow factor.”

Andrew’s 3 Words to Describe Lean Start Lab:
“Ambitious. Realistic. Dedicated.”

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