Business in The Spotlight: GoSweat
We managed to speak to an incredible founder, Stephanie Newport-Booth, who after coming off her graduate scheme saw an opportunity to improve an industry and change how we access get to sport and places to sweat. GoSweat is an awesome business that is making something fun, practical and healthy. There are so many ways technology can improve your health – find out more here.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Myself, Stephanie Newport-Booth, 24, and Co-Founder, Alex Hind, 24, founded GoSweat in September 2016. We’d both previously worked as Aldi Area Managers, after doing Aldi’s infamous Graduate scheme. At 22 we were each managing teams of 100+, earning £50K a year and overseeing the running of 3 Aldi Stores, with a combined weekly revenue of £1million.
Despite enjoying the steep learning curve at Aldi, we were both eager to pursue our own venture and in summer 2016, quit our high paid jobs, moved to London and decided to risk it all in the start-up world.
Our start-up dream first began when we’d both just moved to Manchester and were trying to find a netball team to join. After hours (literally) of searching through Google results, I finally found a team that suited my budget and schedule. It wasn’t until I checked the location that I realised I was about to join a netball team in Manchester, New Hampshire – in the USA!!
I didn’t mind a commute, but that was a bit extreme. It seemed madness that there wasn’t an easier way to discover your perfect ways to sweat.
Now there is – GoSweat.
What is your company all about?
GoSweat lets you discover, book & review your perfect ways to sweat.
GoSweat is uniting the Sports Industry, onto one centralised marketplace, in the same way, TripAdvisor has united Travel, JustEat united takeaway food and Treadwell united Beauty.
GoSweat will enable Users to compare prices, locations and reviews for Gyms, Classes, Yoga & Pilates, Sports Clubs, Facilities and Events. So it will be as easy to book a squash court, as it is to book a hotel room or order a takeaway.
With 3,000 + weekly activities from Silent Disco-Bootcamps to Quidditch, & everything in between, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Why? GoSweat’s vision is to reinvent how people see sport. Making sport more accessible is just the first step in that direction. In the long run, we hope to change people’s perspective of sport, by removing any negative connotations so sport can stop being seen as a chore and start being enjoyed as leisure.
How important is what you do?
Obesity drives disease. It increases the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease – and it costs our economy £27 billion a year; that’s more than half the entire NHS pay bill*.
GoSweat is taking advanced action against obesity, by making the Sports Industry accessible and promoting the fun, social side of sport. GoSweat will never preach about the health benefits (they’re boring and scaremonger); instead, we’ll help you find your perfect ways to sweat. So you can find something you’ll love, and actually, want to keep doing.
In this way, GoSweat will reinvent how people see sport, and who knows we might even help save the NHS.
*George Osborne, 2016 Budget Speech.
What kind of do you think people make great entrepreneurs?
The kind of people who make great entrepreneurs are the individuals who can listen. Listen to everything; people, talks, podcasts, the person sat next to them on the tube. They learn from what they hear. They don’t necessarily to do what everyone says but just knowing what they think enriches their own thoughts.
When I can’t listen to people in person, I read. As a Founder, you have multiple job titles (per hour). You have to be the account, the sales, the marketing, the branding, the recruiter, the HR… etc. etc. You have to learn quick and well, as mistakes are costly – regarding time and finances.
My bookshelf is filled with books, written by those more experienced than me, who have tried, failed and succeed. Their accounts guide me, allowing me to accelerate my learning process, so when it comes to the real thing ‘perfect’ doesn’t take too much practice.
What is it about the market you’re in that you wanted to change?
The Sports Industry is currently segmented and hard to navigate. With people searching for sport (sweat-seekers) either having to rely on word of mouth, their own knowledge or manually comparing results on Google.
This discovery process is out-dated and time-consuming and often results in ‘sweat-seekers’ losing interest out of frustration and perceived a lack of choice. So they either drop off, and remain inactive, or pick something that’s not perfect.
GoSweat changes all of that, by centralising the Sports Offerings onto one comparable marketplace, GoSweat empowers the User so they can discover their perfect ways to sweat.
What big wins have you had so far?
How long have you got? At GoSweat, we believe every achievement, no matter how small, should be celebrated. But coming second in the AppFactor contest was fantastic. Reaching a 1/3 of the way through doing 365 consecutive Days of Sport throughout 2017 was also pretty great. But I guess the crowning glory has to be the fact Channel 4 are making a documentary about our Startup Journey, that is due to be released Q1 2018.
Why is word of mouth important to you as a business?
As a young female, who’s also a young entrepreneur, running a young start-up – I’m always fighting the odds. Did you know a whopping 99% of start-ups fail? Or that less than a third of all entrepreneurs are women. And out of that third, the amount of women who are under 25 is… minuscule!
Even my mum, supportive as she is, worries.
So when GoSweat pitches at an event like AppFactor and scores second place, it’s fantastic. Or when GoSweat gets invited to Microsoft Offices to give a speech on ‘How to Build a Marketplace’, it’s great. Or when Channel 4 tell us they want to make a documentary about GoSweat’s start-up journey, it’s bloody brilliant.
They help GoSweat grow as a company, they help me grow as an individual and they my mum grow so she can stop asking me when I’m getting a ‘real’ job.