While working on his U of T degree, Khalil Zahar (MASc 2014) trained as an amateur boxer. To objectively determine how hard he was punching, he came up with the idea of embedding a sensor in a punching bag. In July 2013, he and his business partner landed spots at the Impact Centre, a U of T incubator, and, a month later, launched Hykso – but were unable to turn a profit. After interviewing many potential customers, they decided to strap the sensors to the boxer’s wrists instead. That was the knockout punch.
The company started taking orders earlier this year and has generated $260,000 in sales. Zahar sees opportunities to adapt Hykso’s sensors to other sports, such as basketball, soccer and running, and ramp up sales in new territories – particularly South America, where soccer is a continental obsession. “We want to be the Nike of smart sports gear.”
Watch how Hysko works: