Laura Willoughby | Co-Founder Club Soda @joinclubsoda


Meet Laura Willoughby from Club Soda who helps people change their drinking whether they want to cut down, stop for a bit, quit or stick. Laura is a fellow of the Ogunte Make a Wave Incubator for Women Social Entrepreneurs.

Follow Club Soda on Twitter @joinclubsoda

Ogunte: What is it that you are doing differently?

Laura: We are using technology to help people take a self-guided journey to change a specific habit. We use recognised behaviour change techniques to create a club that brings everything you need in one place, from technology to track your goals through to real-world gatherings. After all we get drunk together so… why should we get sober alone?

So tell us how do you manage to successfully run your venture?

  • Extreme boot strapping has forced us to experiment and not waste cash. It means we have had to learn before we build, which is a good thing.
  • Collaborating with others, a lot of people who have supported what we have done are doing it for free (or very little). They are keen to help us experiment and we pay that back in kind too. So do ask!
  • People come and go. Start-ups are hard work so don’t take it personally.
  • Don’t spend lots of money on tech - we used off the shelf tools for our first MVP. We know it’s terrible but people don’t see those same flaws. And now we have the cash to build some more.
  • Always have a spare phone charger - you can do a lot on the move.

What do you know now that you wished you had known from the beginning?

  • I wish I had started blogging early on. I thought I had nothing to say but in fact, when we finally got there we had lots. I could have built a bigger following whilst we were building the first website.
  • Your investor deck will never be finished. Keep working on it but do send it out.
  • You can often get swept up by the hype - but take it with a pinch of salt. There are not tonnes of investors out there, especially for social business. So focus on selling your product and find investors who want to invest in a £10m long-term business not a multi-million pound here today gone tomorrow app.

Read the rest of this interview, on Laura’s ideal entrepreneurs dinner party, what she wished investors asked her and her vision for 2030, and discover other fascinating women social entrepreneurs on the Ogunte platform

Company info

Ogunte is no longer operating. We've moved on!
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