BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Each Monday, we highlight a City Shaper, someone who is part of Buffalo's resurgence. This week, 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik introduces us to one of the latest 43North winners who is building his business in Buffalo.
"I was always interested in electronics, cars, computers, pretty much anything that was mechanical," says Leo Schultz.
Schultz grew up in Falconer and Williamsville, graduated early from Niagara University, and headed to Silicon Valley to get his Masters.
"It's a big culture shock. Big lifestyle shock," says Schultz. "I had an eight-mile commute that took me two hours."
But, that's where Burner was born. It's an app that tailors a health and wellness program to your needs so you can see a trainer without leaving your home.
"We do an assessment on you digitally so it doesn't take up the time of a trainer, coach, or any of those things," says Schultz.
Burner's goal is to keep people healthy with personalized trainers and accountability. Each coach can see your food log and what workouts you're doing.
Tired of being in California, Schultz eventually moved Burner to Buffalo and convinced several team members to move here, too.
"So far, our success rate is 100-percent. Nobody's come here and then left," he says.
They were here for almost two years building their company before entering the 43North competition. Last year, they made the Top 8 and won $500,000.
And now, Burner is looking to partner with local health insurance companies.
"You're not just supporting a 43North company, and a wellness platform that's being grown here, you're also transferring a lot of that money over to gyms, and trainers, and nutritionists, and wellness professionals in the WNY region," says Schultz.
"How does it make you feel to have an impact like that in WNY when you're from here?" asked Dudzik.
"It's exciting. I mean, I'm really excited. I hope that we grow to the point where WNY can start to identify with us as they do maybe Wegmans, or in the past, Kodak," he says.
Winning the 43North prize money has allowed Burner to add to its team. Burner has twelve employees, and most live here.
Schultz says there are several new positions open right now including positions in sales, business development, and coach relations.
If you'd like to nominate someone to be a Buffalo City Shaper, email Kelly.