Take a look at how a simple but innovative idea, starting with two lawyers at university, led to investment by Alistair Brownlee MBE, the acquisition of global clients such as Diageo, PwC and Experian and, more recently, the closing of their second investment round for over £1m!
Two sports lovers, Will Turner and Phil Steele, met at university 18 years ago while studying law. Both went on to become sports lawyers, with Will spending eight years with Team GB, moving from the legal side to a commercial side, while Phil went on to become a partner at Brabners for 13 years.
Both of them loved, and were motivated by, the social element of sport and exercise, and would run team-based athletic events at university with their house of ten ‘ordinary joe’ friends (which they still do to this day). They realised they took something from the experience in terms of motivation and enjoyment which they did not fi nd in existing digital or physical fitness products, many of which weren’t particularly innovative, and which focused primarily on ‘invested athletes’.
Phil and Will felt that there was an opportunity to use their commercial experience to create a product that could keep the masses on their exercise journeys for longer through data, infl uencers and the blockchain.
When asked about their business and personal motivations, they mentioned wanting to create something that would use exercise as a way to connect and motivate people across the globe to stay on their exercise journeys for longer, that was truly social and which leveraged community and athletes in an innovative way. They have very ambitious growth plans, aiming to make GoJoe the biggest fitness app in the next fi ve years, and they plan to do this via many different ways. One of those, in particular, is how – despite being a consumer product – they are already working with some of the world’s biggest companies on the B2B side, who are using GoJoe to engage and connect their staff in an innovative way, with a focus on digital wellbeing and movement.
GoJoe’s offering is highly innovative, in particular how they are building out their integration of NFTs and the blockchain to give genuine value to its global community of users in an authentic and sustainable way. In terms of challenges, the team noted the diffi culty of building a tech product in such a fast-moving environment, which was made more difficult at the outset of their journey given neither of them had any background in tech. They also mentioned keeping up with the commercial demands, moving at the current speed on a limited budget and not getting ahead of themselves.
When asked about what the most rewarding parts of being founders was, they mentioned “being captain of our own ship, and being able to shape the direction of travel” and “getting the freedom to make your own choices which could have a major impact on our business… where highs are higher, and lows are lower”. They also mentioned getting to innovate and try new things was very rewarding.
Both founders wanted to give a big thanks to the NatWest Accelerator for helping them through its mentorship, during which time they were provided with investment and recruitment guidance as well as giving them the confidence required to get the product out there at an earlier stage than they would have otherwise done. Their advice to up and coming entrepreneurs would be to do the same, and to take risks in recognition of the fact that countless mistakes and learnings will be made along the way.
To end, they wanted everyone to go check out GoJoe at www.gojoe.com and download the mobile application to get started with their exercise journeys, enter challenges with their friends and many others around the world.
Phil Steele: www.linkedin.com/in/steelephilip
Will Turner: www.linkedin.com/in/will-turner-8a315833