Apple Watch App of the Year created by Ilitch School grad

Mike Ilitch School of Business alumnus Fares Ksebati is the co-founder and CEO of MySwimPro, which has been named the Best Watch App of the Year by Apple.

MySwimPro is an app that helps swimmers of all levels achieve their goals through custom workouts, according to its website. Users can also learn techniques from videos within the app and receive analytics for each swim.

Ksebati, who graduated in 2013 with a B.A. in marketing, has been a lifelong swimmer and, in recent years, a swimming coach.

He said most swimmers can’t afford one-on-one coaching, and finding a personalized training plan is difficult.

“I went online and I didn’t think any of the resources available were very good or helped swimmers with the problems they have,” he said. “There were so many applications for running, biking or weightlifting, but nothing for swimming.”

Ksebati described this as the “aha moment” for MySwimPro.

Along with Ksebati, other co-founders are Apple iOS developer Adam Oxner and Android developer Michael Allon. The app launched on Android in February 2015 and on iOS in June.

“Now, we’re really focused on building community,” Ksebati said. “Regardless of where you are, you can share, compare and compete with each other in a digital community.”

On being named Apple’s Best Watch App of the Year, Ksebati said it was remarkable to have that level of recognition.

“It’s something you don’t really think about while you’re building a product,” he said. “It’s really satisfying and enjoyable to have Apple recognize our hard work, and it gives us a lot of external validation that we’ve built something truly valuable.”

During his time at the Ilitch School, Ksebati said the biggest value-add the school had to offer was group projects.

“Having the opportunity to work on a semester-long project with other business students really prepared me well for what I do now,” he said. “To have that kind of experience was helpful.”

He also had words of advice for current business students.

“You don’t have to be tech savvy to launch a technical product,” he said. “That sounds counterintuitive, but at the core you have to build something that people want that solves a real problem. You don’t need technical skills to identify that problem.”

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