“…the best start I could have had”

I have always thought of networking meetings as very robotic and corporate events. However, as a startup, it’s a necessity. 

Active Monthly is a monthly subscription box aimed towards individuals with an active lifestyle and, therefore, relies on collaboration. To make this easier I came round to the idea of meeting new professionals and like-minded people that I could relate to.

A simple google search provides shows many networking events, but YENA stood out for me as the younger audience seemed less daunting.

Not really knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised with the very welcoming chilled atmosphere. It was literally a room full of interesting people willing to chat, collaborate and exchange ideas over a drink.

Ash, the founder of YENA, gave a fantastic speech on the power of networking which was very fitting for somebody new to this like me. That, along with the positive attitudes of YENA members, shows how great the brand is in itself: a community of young entrepreneurs and professionals providing support and advice to other members. Just by following Ash’s advice on being myself whilst networking, allowed me to meet some fantastic young entrepreneurs.

I had no idea how much positive impact this could have on my startup.

Firstly…

I spoke to a software engineer, Byron from Fika Studios, about one of my main challenges, which was seeing if my product was viable. Byron replied by selflessly offering an afternoon of his time asking the public of Bath if a monthly subscription for active people is something they would be interested in. A completely genuine offer!

One afternoon we approached Bath gym goers and active sorts with a questionnaire, leaflets and a bag of health snacks which resulted in a positive response from the public looking for some fitness encouragement. We then approached the gyms directly with a good response from the staff whom then explained how a famous fitness app located in Bath could be interested in my startup.

Then…

Kapil was another entrepreneur I met at YENA, currently starting up his business Unielephant.

Having recently graduated with an MBA, Kapil has a wealth of business knowledge. I have met him on numerous occasions, where he has shared his advice on the lean startup process and the importance of pitching your idea. Kapil’s inspiring attitude that has helped me a lot in my startup journey, having provided me with invaluable advice and some fantastic learning resources.

Finally…

I had a great conversation with Kat from a local marketing agency called Gradino. She shared some of her knowledge of marketing advice and even looked over my website to make sure everything looked good.

Kat mentioned that she had a contact that works for the app, mentioned by the gyms Bryon and I had approached, and offered an introduction via email. A week later she introduced me to the marketing executive of the fitness app and this has since resulted in a brand partnership and the potential for a large monthly bespoke box order – Amazing!

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Final Thoughts

The YENA Bath group is only small and this creates a very relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Considering this was my first YENA experience,  it has proven that there are people out there who look for ways to help and encourage rather than criticise and compete. In return for the help I have received, I will remember the services on offer and be sure to refer, make use and collaborate with their brands.

I look forward to the next YENA meeting where a drink on me will definitely be on the cards!

Check out Active Monthly at www.activemonthly.com and join George at the next Bath event on April 5th – Tickets here!