June 21, 2021

Episode 74: Nikola Mrvaljevic - Improving human performance through Strive, former pro basketball player

Episode 74: Nikola Mrvaljevic - Improving human performance through Strive, former pro basketball player
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Today’s guest is Nikola Mrvaljevic. Nikola is the co-founder and CEO of Strive, a human performance company. Strive enables clothing with technology to capture performance insights to empower real-time decision-making. By outfitting an athlete’s clothing with their technology, it allows coaches & trainers to compare body input to body output, and provides insights on muscle activity including load, symmetry, and fatigue. So, as an example, as athletes near the end of a hard practice, coaches will be able to see through Strive if certain individuals are beginning to favor one side of the body vs another or if certain muscles are exerting excessive amounts of load. The inspiration to start Strive started many years before Nikola officially founded the company. As a pro basketball player in Montenegro, he often asked himself why his coaches were having the team do these workouts that would leave them overly fatigued. If only there could be a way to help coaches understand how their players are feeling – hence the beginning of the idea for Strive. In this interview, we get into Nikola’s time growing up in Montenegro, his pro basketball career, and all things Strive.


00:02:27 Growing up in Montenegro and culture

00:07:56 Playing pro basketball in Montenegro

00:13:53 Biggest takeaways from playing pro basketball

00:16:40 Questioning his coach's training methods

00:19:53 Moving to the US and adjusting to the culture

00:25:18 Going to University of Rhode Island (URI) and doing research for Strive

00:28:04 Time between URI and starting Strive

00:34:35 Strive overview

00:38:07 Strive's technology

00:41:02 Example use case of Strive

00:45:06 Thoughts on partnering with other human performance companies

00:46:07 Strive business model

00:47:42 Target markets

00:52:52 Product roadmap

00:56:41 Fundraising for Strive

01:00:15 Impact of the pandemic on the business

01:02:21 Ultimate vision for Strive

01:06:33 Pivotal moments that changed his perspective on human performance

01:08:45 Being a Thalassophile

01:10:34 What he wants to accomplish 5 years from now

01:13:40 His daily routine

01:15:25 His driving force

01:17:58 Parting words of wisdom for the aspiring entrepreneur