A new Lenexa-based tech firm aims to make training for track and field athletes more precise.
Founded in 2015, LED Rabbit is an electronic pacing system that can attach to or overlay any track. The product uses LED lighting to move a marker around a track, offering runners an indicator of what their pace needs to be.
“Coaches typically go through lot of pain developing specific work outs and they use a stopwatch to make sure athletes are on the correct pace,” said Barry Vonada, founder of LED Rabbit. “With LED Rabbit, a coach could be in his office before practice starts, program a complete workout within our mobile application, and then launch the workout. The system takes care of the rest.”
With expertise in LED lighting, sales and engineering, Vonada said the idea came after talks with his daughter, who is a collegiate track and field athlete.
“One of her coaches came to her and was telling her about all the problems they have with training,” Vonada said. “I thought to would be nice to add some LED technology. Any technology in general would be better than a stopwatch and yelling ‘start and stop.’”
After previously trying to secure a patent, Vonada discovered that a similar technology was already being used by Italy-based Indico Technologies. On Friday, LED Rabbit announced that it gained exclusive license to use the technology.
Vonada said that he is relieved to have reached an agreement with Indico Technologies.
“By securing the patent and technology rights, we can now focus our energy on launching The LED Rabbit into the North American market,” Vonada said. “The expertise that our two companies share in LED Lighting Systems coupled with our passion for sports will spawn many new developments in the future.”
The tech will hit the market this fall, targeting high school and collegiate teams. Vonada said he’s focused on securing funding to hire a team and manufacturing the product.
He is confident that, with the help of the Kansas City community, LED Rabbit has a bright future.
“I’ve started to get in a lot of exciting conversations and getting to know people in Kansas City’s startup community,” Vonada said. “It has been really cool for me because I’ve lived in the area forever and I love that the community is really embracing tech startups.”
Watch a video of the LED Rabbit in action below.