Spotlight: Travis McDonough

- June 25, 2024

Travis McDonough at the space. (Alison Delory photo)
Travis McDonough at the space. (Alison Delory photo)

Last Thanksgiving, Travis McDonough (BScK’94) invited a man living in a tent to dinner. After the meal, McDonough and his wife moved him into the home they share with their three kids. He stayed for three months while they helped him find work and affordable housing.

"Now he’s a tax-paying citizen with two jobs. He even volunteers. The story ends well,” says McDonough.

Calculated risk-taking, service to community, and ending well seem to be McDonough’s modus operandi.

A kinesiology grad and licensed chiropractor, McDonough says he fell in love with the science of movement and the human body while at Dal. He’s channeled that into several businesses. The latest is “It’s a digital platform that builds community wellness,” explains McDonough.

McDonough says he lives by the adage that you don’t choose your future, you choose your habits, which determine your future.

“You can’t get people off their phones, so I figured let’s use them to create positive change,” he says.

Recognizing the popularity of video games and apps like TikTok, McDonough and his business partners— many coming from Kinduct, the performance-based tracking software for athletes he founded, nurtured, then sold—found a way to harness screen addictiveness for good.

“We originally imagined it for young athletes, but realized we also needed to help sedentary kids get healthier,” McDonough says, from headquarters—a half basketball court plus workout / office space in his backyard.

“The greatest gift a parent can give their children is a love of exercise,” McDonough says, adding when that doesn’t happen, can step in to help cultivate that love for exercise.

Dalhousie is a partner. Residence students use to participate in augmented reality challenges. “It gives a video game-like experience,” McDonough explains, with students in, say, Shirreff Hall performing and counting squats using to compete against friends in Howe Hall.

It’s not just about fitness. There is the “body” channel, but also channels for “mind,” offering information on things like the importance of sleep, and “spirit,” focused on mindfulness, meditation and nature. Rewards are built into each channel, such as points earned for spending time in nature, that are collected and redeemed within the app or outside it for prizes.

After selling Kinduct in 2020 to a Silicon Valley tech company that took it global, McDonough paused to consider what was next. His parents died within two months of one another in 2021 and 2022, impacting his momentum and perspective.

His father was Dal alum Peter McDonough (LLB’67). “He would come to Kinduct every day in the early days. His belief in it was my power source.”

His late mother, Alexa McDonough (BA’65, MSW’67, LLD’09), taught him that service is the price you pay for living.

“This chapter in my life is much more about the impact we can have rather than a share price,” McDonough says.

“This chapter in my life is much more about the impact we can have rather than a share price,” McDonough says.

This story appeared in the DAL Magazine Spring/Summer 2024 issue. Flip through the rest of the issue using the links below.


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