Home » Culture » We chat to Sportable, A new local sports event app
We chat to Sportable, A new local sports event app
by Startacus Admin
Back in June Aya Ahmed was recognised as our self starter of the week- a congratulatory nod to yet another amazing member of our community, who is doing some truly wonderful things to bring her dreams to life!
She is the co-founder of an innovative new mobile application that allows recreational sports players to discover and organise activities within their local area. Sportable is a really impressive platform that uses modern technology as a way of bringing people with shared interests together. With over 100 sports available and an ever growing community of players, it’s a fantastic resource for athletes of all types!
We think Sportable is a real up-and-comer and have taken to opportunity to chat Aya about the journey so far, and the team’s plans for the future.
As a recent Self Starter of the Week - what do you feel are the attributes and characteristics that made you a Self Starter?
I’ve always been a very analytical, detail-oriented person, and I tend to measure accomplishments through numbers. This has helped me a great deal throughout the product development process and helps me understand the result of my choices. It’s also important to challenge and question everything – curiosity is key. There is never a ‘correct’ way of running a business so I try to make an effort to constantly see things from different points of view, and to learn from people with more experience.
You've gone from a degree in Investment and Financial Risk Management to co-founding your first App - Sportable. How did that career transition happen?!
I think no matter what your professional background or past experiences are, it should not define the steps you take in your career. I have always known that I would start my own business, I just didn’t know at what point in my life I would do it. When Adam (Co-Founder of Sportable) approached me with an idea, I started helping him out of curiosity and personal interest. It was so much more dynamic than what I was used to (from finance) and I couldn’t sleep for weeks thinking of all the possible ideas of how to shape the app, and of all the directions it could go in. The possibilities seemed endless and I had never felt so passionate about something before. It was then that I knew I had to change career paths and I ended up deciding to do this full time.
Give us your pitch about Sportable - what problem are you trying to solve?
Sportable is not just a tool to log your sports activities. What it offers is easier access to sports facilities and players through location based searches. Londoners especially, are so time constrained that we want to save someone the time and hassle associated with organising a sport activity. Many people enjoy playing sports as opposed to going to the gym or for a run, but avoid doing so because of the long organisation process associated with it: no available nearby facilities, too few players to get involved or having to cancel a pitch because of last minute dropouts. We help our users overcome those issues so they can focus on doing what they love again.
What types of feedback have you had so far since the App launched?
Very positive – people always associate well with the concept and see the intrinsic value. That being said, Adam (Co-Founder) and I are overly critical about everything so we like to be challenged, and we know there’s a lot that needs to be improved on. Always happy to hear fresh opinions so please do share!
What do you know now, that you wish you'd known at the beginning?
Keep things simple and test, test, test!
In terms of building a community of users - any advice you can pass on to other Startups where community involvement and take-up is key?
Don’t overlook word of mouth marketing! Community based start ups are usually built through word of mouth and that’s the most effective marketing tool.
You might think you have all the right marketing channels in place and you’ve exhausted your budget and hired the right people, but you really need to give it your all. Don’t get comfortable. Speak to everyone and anyone because word of mouth is key. People need to be excited to adopt your product and they won’t be excited unless YOU are.
Thanks for the chat Aya! Best of luck with Sportable!
Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.