The Ideas stage for the New Enterprise Competition is open for applications for another week. For the opportunity to test out your idea by pitching to us and to win up to £200 in equity free funding, what have you got to lose?
We caught up with Shabaj, who created the Success Program, a sports journaling app, which was awarded funding from the Ideas stage of the Competition last year.
In a nutshell, what is your start-up idea and where did the idea come from?
I’m working on a sports journaling app that allows individuals to track their weightlifting performance and provides customers with a quantitative measure of how their training programme is impacting their performance. Having our customers reflect on what they achieved on their last workout allows them to compete against themselves from one workout to the next.
The aim of the game is progression, but how can you know if you are progressing if you aren’t tracking your results?
I’m not the strongest person in the gym, by far. Often, if I push myself more than I am physically capable of and I get an injury. I got tired of repeating the same mistake and started to record my workouts in a notebook. However, I got fed up with flicking through the pages to find what weights, reps and sets I should do. I also lost more pens in the gym than most students do in three years at university. So I decided to build an app to think and carry less in the gym.
Have you always been interested in entrepreneurship? What inspired you to get into it?
I let my curiosity direct where I put my attention- which has its own set of pros and cons! My journey into entrepreneurship is more self-centred than most. From the projects I worked on, I always had a personal connection with problem I was trying to solve. Since I couldn’t find a product or service that met my needs, I would find out how I can create my own solution. If I have that problem, someone else might too.
Why did you apply to the New Enterprise Competition?
I wanted to test whether I can present my idea clearly to others. This is because I understand my idea better than anyone else but trying to convey that in a five-minute presentation is not easy. Regardless of what the outcome was I wanted to give it a go and see what feedback I would get.
What did the competition funding mean for your start-up? How did you spend it?
Being a student, I don’t have much in terms of expendable income. Once I received the funding, I didn’t hesitate to purchase the things I needed. For app development that was google and apple developer accounts as well as back-end services to store user-generated data. For the landing page, I bought the domain name and hosting.
What advice would you give for fellow student founders like yourself?
I don’t have any credibility or accomplishments to justify giving anyone any advice *. The two ancient proverbs that I live by are 1. If it’s the best choice I can make at the time I can’t regret it, and 2. If I have the option, I prioritise what I enjoy.
Any last words?
If you have an idea, then apply.
By presenting your ideas you allow yourself to think deeply about the problem you are solving and open yourself up to getting feedback on your idea.
*The Basecamp Enterprise Team strongly disagree! Shabaj and The Success Program has made incredible progress, improving and developing his ideas in a short space of time. The ancient proverbs sound very wise. We can’t wait to hear what happens next with The Success Programme.
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If you’re interested in applying to the Ideas stage of the New Enterprise Competition, all ideas from different backgrounds and disciplines are welcome. Applications close on Friday 5 November. Apply now!