Spotlight on the FitrWoman App With Co-Founder, Grainne Conefrey

SPOTLIGHT ON: FitrWoman powered by Orreco

INITIAL APP LAUNCH: 2016

FOUNDERS: Grainne Conefrey and Georgie Bruinvels

HEAD OFFICE : Galway, Ireland

WEBSITE: www.fitrwoman.com


In September 2018, SportsTech Ireland and Kemmy Business School, UL launched the Sports Entrepreneurship Masterclass, which was the very first of its kind in Ireland. The two day event welcomed athletes, entrepreneurs, coaches and leading sports innovators to participate and present at the event. Over the course of the two days, there were many insightful lectures. One of the standout product talks, in terms of ingenuity and innovation, was given by Orreco Product Development Manager and FitrWoman Co-Founder Grainne Conefrey.

FitrWoman allows female athletes to optimise performance during their menstrual cycle. Many studies have highlighted that the menstrual cycle can be a major deterrent for women partaking in sport. In a study conducted by Populus on behalf Orreco, 54% of women have had to stop exercising as a result of their menstrual cycle. This increases to 73% in 16 to 24-year-olds. In a separate study by Women in Sport it was identified that 42% of women do not exercise while on their period. The FitrWoman app is helping to combat these issues. The app helps athletes to track their menstrual cycle. It then provides personalised training and nutritional suggestions tailored to the changing hormone levels throughout the cycle. We caught up with Grainne to discuss how the product came about, the remarkable highs to date and what’s next for this invaluable product.

Intrapreneurship and the Development of FitrWoman

Although FitrWoman first launched in the Apple Store in 2016, the seeds were planted years previously. Grainne graduated from UCD with a degree in Sports & Exercise Management. Her first job out of college was outside of Ireland in Boston where she worked with Hill Holiday Marketing Agency. Grainne explained the relevance of this role.

One of the biggest clients was Major League Baseball and I was working with the MLB account team. In this role I was working closely with the marketing team, developing the next seasons campaign. I also had to research and analyse the other major competitive sports in the USA. This included the NBA, NFL, NHL. It was an amazing experience.”

This experience gave Grainne her first taste of working with elite athletes. Upon moving back to Ireland she wanted to continue in this field and started working with Orreco in Sligo. Orreco is a company that is well known to SportsTech Ireland. It was founded in 2009 by Dr. Brian Moore and Dr. Andrew Hodgson. Their goal is to use proven sports and data science to enable elite athletes to perform at their best.

It was through this role that Grainne met Georgie Bruinvels. Georgie is a research scientist who,at the time, was completing a PHD on female athletes and the effect of the menstrual cycle on performance.

Through her research, Georgie was discovering all these fascinating insights, most of which weren’t widely known by the public. There was information on how the body changes during the menstrual cycle and how you can adapt your nutrition to perform better during your cycle. The more we spoke, the more we decided that this is something that all female athletes should know. We decided to pitch our idea to Orreco and see where it would take us.”

This bit of intrapreneurship proved vital to FitrWoman’s success. Having the backing and support of an established sports science company afforded them huge opportunity for growth.

Orreco gave us a small fund to put toward the development of the first version of FitrWoman. Initially, we outsourced the development to create an MVP version. However, after the success of this version, Orreco backed us even further and we were able to bring development in-house. We have a fantastic product team and sports science team to help us with future development. FitrWoman has very much become a part of the Orreco roadmap. Having the support of Orreco from the start has been incredible and has created some great opportunities for us.” 


Forbes, CNN, Ladies GAA and the US Swimming Team

FitrWoman is the first app of its kind on the market. Although there are other apps that help women to track their menstrual cycle, there is none that come from the angle of physiology and sporting performance. FitrWoman has been able to use this innovative angle as well as the help from a very well established company in Orreco, to garner worldwide attention and achieve success that is very inspiring for such a fledgling product.

We’ve definitely had a lot of great moments already. We were featured in Forbes Magazine, CNN, Italian Vogue and The Guardian. Georgie recently did a podcast with Judy Murray (Scottish Tennis Coach and Creator of Miss-Hits, mother of Andy Murray), who is a massive fan of the app. Sonia O’ Sullivan has also been introducing the app to younger athletes. Outside of that we were also featured in the App Store under ‘Best New Apps’. That’s something I like to tell people. Getting featured on the app store is much harder than you’d think. There are millions of apps out there!

In the past year, we have been working with some amazing athletes. Amongst others, we work closely with the Oregon Track Club in America and British Cross Country Champion, Emelia Górecka, has become a brand ambassador.

We have also signed some exciting partnership deals with the Ladies Gaelic Football Association and with the USA Female Swimming Team. The LGFA are a fantastic organisation to work with and we both have very similar goals to increase participation and awareness. Five players have also signed up as ambassadors. Working with the US Swimming Team will be a science and research partnership. It’s a partnership that we hope both sides will learn a huge amount from” 

Bringing an Elite Performance Platfrom to the General Public

FitrWoman is available to all users for free on the App Store. When the app was initially launched, it was aimed specifically at elite athletes. However, Georgie and Grainne quickly realised that they could translate the information in a way that was accessible and beneficial to the general public. While working with their elite athletes, Grainne and Georgie were able to build a bank of questions that athletes were interested in. This has helped them to develop the app even further.

Along with this, FitrWoman continues to grow its coaching platform. This is a paid offering where coaches can monitor their own athletes. The coach has access to a team dashboard. Through this dashboard players upload information about any symptoms they might be experiencing or where they are in their menstrual cycle. The coach is then given suggested plans tailored to individual’s needs. The platform helps coaches to better understand the players and work with them to optimise performance.


An Ambitious Vision for the Future

It is a testament to the ingenuity and effectiveness of the app that FitrWoman was featured in such prestigious publications as Forbes and CNN. Aside from the positive feedback and media spotlight, FitrWoman is also starting to grow a dedicated community of users. This early success has afforded Grainne to look ahead to a very positive future.

At the moment we are putting a huge amount of focus on app-performance and user engagement. To make a great app, you need to constantly be upgrading and making improvements with your target user in mind

We are putting a big emphasis on making our content very user-friendly. We also want our users to be able to interpret the data they are capturing in FitrWoman and make it beneficial and actionable for them. Right now, we are focusing on creating charts and insights to allow users to track their cycle and activity over time. Something else that we are pursuing is ‘wearables’ and integrating devices such as FitBits and Apple Watches into FitrWoman

And the Grand Vision for FitrWoman?

Our big ambition is to be the number one exercise tool for women. We want FitrWoman to become part of a daily routine. That desire is what is driving us forward right now.”



It is very inspiring to see an Irish Sports Technology company making such big strides and having such a positive impact on females in sport. If early signs are anything to go by there is a very bright future for Grainne, Georgie and their team at FitrWoman and Orreco. We would like to say a massive thank you to Grainne for sharing her story. For all our readers, be sure to head over to the App Store and download the FitrWoman app

If you would like to hear more from exciting Irish Sports Technology companies, why not check out our Spotlight on Kitman Labs. Kitman Labs have created another fascinating tool developed to assist in athlete’s performance.

To learn more about our recent Sports Entrepreneurship Masterclass, check out this blog post


Spotlight on Kitman Labs – The Athlete Optimisation System

SPOTLIGHT ON: Kitman Labs

FOUNDED: Nov 1st, 2012

FOUNDERS: Stephen Smith & Larfhlaith Kelly

HEAD OFFICE : Dublin, Ireland

WEBSITE: www.kitmanlabs.com


What is Kitman Labs?

Kitman Labs is one of the rising stars in the Irish sports technology space. This position was confirmed at the 2018 BT Sport Industry Awards as the organisation was named winner of the inaugural Performance Technology of the Year Award. The company will be presenting at the September’s Masterclass in Sports Entrepreneurship, a workshop in partnership with SportsTech Ireland. With that in mind, we wanted to place a spotlight on this fascinating Irish sports tech solution.

Kitman Labs are the developers of a sports-based technology software designed to manage athlete health and performance. The technology help athletes, and trainers, to predict and manage injury. Kitman Lab’s system enables athletes to reduce the risk of injury, while improving overall performance.


How Did This All Come About?

Stephen Smith came up with the idea that would become Kitman Labs while working as the senior rehabilitation coach at Leinster Rugby. At the time Leinster had started to collect a large volume of data on its players without having any clear idea how to use it. Unfortunately, as is the case with many similar outfits, injuries were a serious problem at Leinster Rugby. Stephen watched on as players were forced to call time on their careers due to injury. Young players with many years left in them, given no other option but to retire. This is an unfortunate and ongoing issue across the world of professional rugby.

As an onlooker, Stephen was left frustrated at the amounts of data being collected with no real purpose. The issue he discovered was that the tools simply weren’t there to enable the club to do anything with the data collected. Instead of passively watching the ongoing injury problem grow, Stephen felt compelled to do something about it. “I felt like the athletes deserved more from us. We owed them a duty of care.”

As Stephen was completing his master’s degree he decided to place a focus on the topic of  “Combined Risk Factors as Predictors of Injury”. That is, using data collected on athletes to help predict future injuries. The findings that Stephen gathered from this research were then used on the Leinster Rugby team squad to great effect. The successful implementation of this system was enough for Stephen to pursue the idea of turning his solution into a start-up. And so, Kitman Labs was born.

How it Works

When working with Kitman Labs, teams collect data on their athletes. This includes daily movement assessments, subjective metrics about sleep, diet, soreness and mood. Teams can also aggregate data from third party devices such as GPS or game metrics. Once the data is centralised, teams have the flexibility to create data visuals and interrogate the data through their own analysis. This allows them to tailor training or recovery plans to each athlete or make quick interventions for at-risk-athletes.

There is no shortage of data in sport. However, there is a lack of tools that enable teams to properly interpret and find meaningful answers in the data.

Kitman Labs has built the world’s only Athlete Optimisation System™ that links data back to performance and injury. This helps teams to automatically identify meaningful trends in their athlete’s information. Management can therefore make quick decisions on how to improve the health and performance of the individual. Using Kitman Labs, coaches are able to understand the variables that elevate injury risk for individuals. Likewise with Kitman Labs performance analytics, teams are able to connect athlete data back to on-field performance metrics. This means that coaches can make decisions about an athlete’s training that will directly influence their ability to succeed on the field.


See Kitman Labs 3D Capture in Action

The short clip below gives a good idea as to how Kitman Lab’s 3D capture solution uses motion sensors during the player screening process.

Greater Player Availability – Greater Results

Kitman Lab’s mission is to change how sports teams use data to improve the health and performance of their athletes. The company believes that winning has as much to do with science as it does with desire. Kitman Lab’s products and services provide actionable insights that improve player availability and deliver stronger team results. They do this through employing a combination of machine learning and multivariate techniques that are grounded in scientific research.

There has been a tremendous amount of advancement in modern day sport. Teams can benefit from more advanced training methods as well as more sophisticated nutritional information. Nonetheless, the rise of injury is an ongoing concern. A tech solution that can proactively combat this issue is an exciting development to say the very least.


Breaking the Elite Performers Market

Kitman Labs has been working with some high profile clients worldwide to help them get the very best out of their players. Injury prediction, a previously foreign concept, is becoming a real option for sports teams. Some notable clients of Kitman Labs include American sports teams such as LA Galaxy, Buffalo Bills, San Jose Sharks and the NY Yankees. A number of top level rugby clubs such as Saracens, Bath and Leinster Rugby. As well as a host of English Premier League clubs. With users of their solution experiencing a huge drop in both injury layoffs and performance outcomes, the future looks very bright indeed for Kitman Labs.


Another high profile adopter of Kitman Lab’s ‘Athlete Optimisation Solution’ has been Rowing Ireland. Recently, we caught up with European and World Champion, Mark O’Donovan. We discussed how Irish rowers are using Kitman Labs to improve performance, Mark’s rigorous training schedule and the value of upskilling for elite performers. Mark also looked ahead to the massive challenge facing himself and teammate Shane O’Driscoll. The pair recently moved from lightweight to heavyweight in the hope of landing a place at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

As mentioned earlier, Kitman Labs is one of many fascinating organisations that will be presenting at the upcoming Masterclass in Sports Entrepreneurship. This Two Day Masterclass will introduce guests to the global picture and emerging trends. It will also take a deep dive into the stories of successful entrepreneurs and innovators from the world of sports business to uncover their path to success. Learn more about the event by clicking the button below.

Sports Entrepreneurship Masterclass