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How tweet helped founder secure £350k for fitness app
The Manchester-based entrepreneur and mother of two is this month launching Buump Active, her new ‘social connection’ and fitness app designed to keep new mums active after having a baby.
The launch comes after Bishop was able to secure almost £350,000 of National Lottery funding through Sport England – which has identified becoming a new mum as one of the key times in life when fitness levels can drop.
We talk to the 36-year-old to find out more.
How did the funding from Sport England come about?
Rebecca Bishop: It began with a Tweet from Sport England in February 2017 announcing a fund to keep people active through major life changes – followed by a lot of work! It was a great learning experience to go through the stages of a funding application with Sport England, it’s certainly a rigorous process. It’s also an unconventional way to secure seed funding, but felt like the right way for Buump Active and it’s fantastic to have Sport England’s backing.
What is the core market and what are the challenges?
— Sport England (@Sport_England) February 2, 2017
What inspired you to create Buump Active?
Personal experience – nothing like this existed when I had my children. Creating a space for women to be active at home, get out with other mums and achieve their fitness goals is a passion for me. Buump Active is the place to find great friends and maintain the healthy, energetic lifestyle which matters to you and look after your physical and mental wellbeing at a time where both are so important.
What are you hoping to achieve?
I’d like to see communities of active women who support and encourage each other, doing brilliant things. Creating a space where women are comfortable, can meet people like them and can be physically active and achieve their goals is really what I would like to accomplish. I can’t wait for stories to come in about women doing what they thought would be impossible as a mum!
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to surround yourself with great people who will be honest with you and who have the skills that you don’t.
How big is the market opportunity?
The market opportunity is huge – despite birth rates being in decline, there are still more than 130 million babies born each year across the globe – plus all the women who are already mums of babies and little ones.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned – or obstacle you’ve overcome – since starting up?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to surround yourself with great people who will be honest with you and who have the skills that you don’t. Whether it’s board level, core team or freelance contracts – people are your greatest asset and building the right team is the best way to invest your time.
I’ve also learned to expect the unexpected and to enjoy the journey when curve balls come your way!
What are the next steps and what do you need to get there?
The initial next step for Buump Active is to go live in April 2019 – we’re almost there with all we need for that, then it’s to enjoy the roll-out city by city and begin introducing some of the exciting new features we’ve already got in development!
What’s it like being a startup in the North West?
It’s really exciting. There is an incredibly vibrant community of entrepreneurs here, and what strikes me most is the collaborative attitudes you find everywhere you turn. Manchester is full of people willing to share expertise and advice – there is a real will to see people thrive and succeed which I love.
Why did you decide on Manchester and Bristol as the first cities for launch?
It had to be Manchester! It’s where Buump Active was ‘born’ and I’ve chosen to partner with other Manchester businesses (app developer, social media partner, brand agency, PR consultant) because of the great talent in the city. Also, the demographics of Manchester and Bristol aren’t too dissimilar and birth rates in both cities are high, which is key for Buump Active!
What is the grand plan for the company?
I think I’ve gone quite a few places in my mind with options for Buump Active but I think it’s important to do what is at your core with excellence and to remain agile, especially with something which relies on tech. My vision is to build a community of active women and shape the future of what we do based on their needs. I definitely see more collaborations as we grow – and we’re so excited to have Fiit.tv as our online partner at launch.
Tell us something about yourself that we wouldn’t be able to guess
I was once nominated by Jo Malone, CBE as her inspiring woman for an International Women’s Day magazine feature in Glamour magazine… and I always carry dental floss!