Tommy Duquette ’12
Co-founder Hykso Inc.
Before Tommy Duquette ’12 came to Babson, he already had a celebrated career—as an amateur boxer. He is a multiple-time Golden Gloves champion and a former member of the United States National Boxing Team.
Today, he blends the business acumen he developed at Babson with his boxing background as co-founder and head of growth at Hykso Inc., working with the world’s top athletes and pushing the envelope of human athletic performance. We talked with him about how his Babson education inspired his entrepreneurial career.
Babson is well regarded as the best entrepreneurial school in the world, and I have always been a natural entrepreneur. When it was time for me to apply to colleges, I filled out only one college application. That’s how strong the Babson brand was in my eyes at the time. Babson has the best ROI in the game.
What Babson lesson still sticks with you today?
In my final year at Babson, I was fortunate to have been chosen to work closely with Highland Capital through the Management Consulting Field Experience (MCFE) program. Our small group was assigned to work closely with Highland partners Bob Davis, founder of Lycos, and Andrew Hunt, founder of Warby Parker. This was such an incredible experience. Where else could a student get that kind of exposure to not just one, but two extremely successful founders of startups that became multi-billion-dollar success stories. The experience gained through working with Highland through Babson was invaluable and a big reason I went in the direction I am in today.
How has being a member of the Babson community impacted your career?
The Babson brand is super strong in the technology entrepreneurship realm. Aside from the great education I received (it truly is next level) I also gained access to a great alumni network and, importantly, aligned my personal brand with one of the strongest brands in business education.
Tell us about Hykso Inc.
Hykso Inc. started primarily as a hardware technology company. Our first product was a set of wearable punch-tracking sensors. They get strapped onto the wrist and count an athlete’s punches, measure the velocity of the punches, etc. That product is currently used by numerous Olympic teams and also by a collection of the best fighters in the world.
Unfortunately, building an advanced piece of sports technology is not a great way to build a big, independent business with long-term, scale-potential. My co-founders and I were pleased to break the $1M sales mark in our first year of shipping product in 2017, but we knew that the only way for us to segue this initial traction into big, long-term success would be to break into the fitness market. We feel like right now is the perfect timing for us as the popularity of boxing-fitness is exploding, and Peloton has proved out the value of the at-home fitness market.
What’s next for you and Hykso Inc.?
We began 2017 with the launch of FightCamp, which can be most concisely described as The Peloton for Boxing Fitness. FightCamp connects our punch-trackers to a growing, on-demand library of fitness-boxing classes that can be done from home or anywhere. We have found our way to acquiring our first several hundred FightCamp users through January and February of 2018, and we are now preparing to turn that into several thousand over the short term and tens of thousands by this time next year. The sky is the limit!