“He became a leader.”
MBA in Entrepreneurship, class of 2014.
CEO and founder, Go Fit
“If UNYP hadn’t been there, I don’t know if I’d have done it,” Albert Ballardini says. “All the ideas came to me when doing the MBA.”
In 2009, Albert was working as a paralegal at a London law practice called Anthony Seddon Solicitors LLP. Following the global financial crisis, he found himself working in-house with several major companies. “When you’re exposed to so many entrepreneurs, you start asking yourself ‘Why don’t I start my own business?’”
This line of thinking eventually lead him to University of New York in Prague, where he enrolled in the MBA program. There, he found himself in a different world. “Taking classes like marketing and finance. It was a real challenge, but it gave me a whole new perspective,” he says.
By 2013, Albert was traveling between his work in London and his classes in Prague. It was this time where he would get his idea for his new company Go Fit. At the time of his studies, Albert was also training in Krav Maga. Sometimes, he’d be in Prague for more than two weeks and didn’t want to interrupt his training. When he’d go to a gym, they would only have monthly memberships available for purchase. However, when he looked for pay-as-you-go models, he couldn’t find any in Prague.
It occurred to him that he was not alone. “There are many who don’t want a membership but still want to maintain their routine of training,” he says.
Now, with some more research and guidance from UNYP professors, Ballardini is the CEO of Go Fit, Prague’s first pay-as-you-go fitness model. Once you create an account on their website, you have access to 30 facilities in Prague, including dance classes, yoga studios, spas, crossfit gyms, and swimming pools. People who travel often for business or leisure can easily pick from a good list of facilities and still save money without a long-term commitment.
Albert and a team of five people are currently working under the radar on an official launch in the first quarter of 2018. Their short-term plans include consolidating partnerships and signing new facilities. In the long term, they plan on expanding into other Czech cities like Brno.
“There were problems along the way, but my advice is don’t stop at the first hurdle,” Albert says. “As far as meeting mentors and colleagues, UNYP helped me a great deal as I developed my idea. I’m not sure I would’ve done it without them.”