Laura Willoughby | Co-Founder Club Soda @joinclubsoda
Meet Laura Willoughby fromClub Sodawho 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.
Ogunte: What is it that you are doing differently?
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
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
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