Founder’s keepers – advice from a working start-up

The New Enterprise Competition 2023 has come to an end. We caught up with finalist Ben Wainwright who comes loaded with lived experience from the world of start up.

Tell us about yourself and what sparked your interest in entrepreneurship.

Remap founder Ben Wainwright.

My name is Ben Wainwright and I am a co-founder and CTO of Remap Mental Fitness.

At Remap, we teach working professionals and global brands how to train their mind to improve how they think, feel and perform.

I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2021 with a Masters in Computer Science with Innovation. Growing up, I’ve always had a logical mind which led me to studying computer science and developing an understanding of how technology works.

Then, during my open day visit to Bristol, I learnt about the innovation degree programmes and it completely changed my perspective on technology. Previously, I was more interested in exploring what was technologically possible. After the open day, my viewpoint shifted towards understanding the impact of products and services on all the stakeholders involved. 

Studying innovation at Bristol heightened my interest and ability to take a human-centred approach to technology and entrepreneurship. And that’s when I discovered Basecamp and the New Enterprise Competition.

What has been your experience with Basecamp?

The team at Basecamp have been fantastic throughout my time at university and as an alumni. I explored a few different start-up ideas during my time at Bristol and they were always on-hand to discuss and critically evaluate my plans. Having an outside voice helped me to solve problems faster and see the bigger picture.

It’s easy to get stuck ‘working in’ your business (focusing on the day-to-day tasks to be done) and neglect ‘working on’ your business (understanding the vision and prioritising which tasks are the most important).

How has Basecamp and the New Enterprise Competition affected your business?

The support has massively helped us to define our thinking around the business.

I started Remap, with my co-founder Maya Raichoora, for our final year project at university. Alongside completing our degree, we took part in the New Enterprise Competition ideas stage. This gave us £200 of funding to create a live prototype and test out our business. We created a chatbot for Facebook Messenger that helped our test group to practise training their mind daily.

Since graduating, we’ve completed the Foundership Scheme, New Enterprise Competition Development Stage, Growth Support Programme and Growth Stage. With each block of support we gained accountability, critical feedback and new knowledge to develop ourselves as entrepreneurs and the business.

When we started our idea could be described as Headspace with a twist. It has taken us almost two years to understand and then articulate who our customers are and how our unique offering can add massive value to them. 

Ben and Maya standing over a football stadium.

How Remap’s value proposition changed over time:

  • Supporting young adults and students with mental health, delivered through technology.
  • Running events to support working professionals with wellbeing.
  • Running workshops to support organisations with employee wellbeing.
  • Repositioning as mental fitness, helping working professionals and global brands to level-up performance. Leading with experience and scaling with technology.

The evolution of our value proposition has been driven by the support and mentorship from Basecamp and their network of advisors. It has meant that we are now at a stage where we are clear and confident in the direction we are heading.

A woman, Maya Raichoora, standing presenting on a stage.

After winning 6-months membership during the New Enterprise Competition Growth Stage, we are excited to join SETsquared Bristol and to accelerate our growth with their support.

What three tips would you give students interested in applying for the New Enterprise Competition?

  1. Seek Feedback: Get feedback on your business plan and pitch from your network, Basecamp team, or experienced individuals.
  2. Prove Traction: Demonstrate traction and confidence in your business by utilizing customer feedback or engaging with prospective customers to showcase market interest.
  3. Be Flexible and Credible: Remain open to feedback and adapt your plans based on new information. Remember that massive growth and investment are not necessary to establish credibility. Explore diverse funding options with the support of the Basecamp team.

Any final words for budding entrepreneurs?

I’d recommend the book, ‘The Messy Middle’ by Scott Belsky. Every chapter is only a few pages long and covers a different learning from running the gauntlet of growing a business. It has helped me to navigate the challenges and setbacks that inevitably come with entrepreneurship.

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