Welcome to issue #24 of our recently launched Q&A series, Startup Spotlight.

This series is all about diving into the world-class technological innovation conducted by exciting startups. Getting to grips with the technology, the mission, and even the stories behind them.

In each edition, we sit down with a different startup founder, leader, or operator in an easily digestible conversational style Q&A format.

Today we interviewed Felix Atkin, CEO and founder of Sharesy, to find out more about the company who believe that people need human connection and community to thrive.

Highlights:

  • 🤗 How Sharesy use technology to bring people together across North London
  • 👥 Why community matters
  • 🇬🇧 From Barnet to Britain: Sharesy’s plan to expand across the UK by the end of the year

According to the Mental Health Foundation, relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives.

People who are more socially connected to family, friends, or their community are happier, physically healthier and live longer, with fewer mental health problems than people who are less well connected.

Sharesy identified the community’s need for human connection and turned it into a successful business with a heart.

Different activities require different venues… from baby classes to belly dancing and birthday parties to book clubs – Sharesy have got it covered.

Sharesy is the venue hire platform that puts local communities at the heart of everything they do. Venues can ramp up their earning potential by hiring out their spaces, whilst bookers can discover unique and affordable venues whilst giving something back to their local community.

It seems that Sharesy are leading the way when it comes to connecting communities with spaces across North London, but what challenges have they faced so far?

How do they do things differently?

And finally, where next?

We asked, Felix answered. Here we go.👇

What is the mission of your company?

We are Sharesy - a venue hire platform for community spaces.

From playgroups to scout troops, birthday parties to yoga nights, people have always craved connection – and communities have always needed spaces to thrive. We’re here to bring people together. Everywhere. Everyday. One community at a time!

We’re on a mission to make under-utilised spaces vibrant centres of community and connection. Because real life happens in these moments of togetherness.

How are you using technology to help solve that problem? 

We use smart tech to help people find spaces for their communities, and help venues find people for their spaces.

We do this by:

• Intuitive, seamless experiences – you can easily search and book with no risk or hassle, both for those looking to hire a hall and our venue lettings hosts.

• People-first design and thinking - our customers are at the heart of everything we do.

• Our tech gives us the ability to scale to connect people and venues across London and beyond. We started with halls to hire in Barnet and are now scaling our hall hire across North London and across the UK by next year.

What's your unique selling point?

For people looking to hire a hall, from a one-off birthday party to a regular home for your yoga class, we make it easy to find the great place you’re looking for - no hassle, no risk.

  • Great choice of venues in local areas across North London
  • Payment plans - we offer Klarna so you can spread the cost over 3 payments.
  • The Sharesy guarantee - if you change your plans - simply reschedule online.

For hosts, we love to see a venue full of people and buzzing with life! That’s why we’ve made it simple for venues to hire out spaces, connect with their communities and take control of earnings.

  • Start with as few or as many bookings as you choose. Even hiring your venue on just a Saturday afternoon could make you an extra £1,000 a month.
  • You can manage your schedule easily using our simple online calendar.
  • You can onboard and get up and running rapidly with no costs or hassle, no lock-in contracts or registration fees.
  • We support you with marketing across various channels to drive your bookings.
  • Never have to worry about any payment admin, cancellations or deposits! We do that for you.

What have been the greatest challenges to date?

Tech startups have a reputation for being glamorous. The reality means working long hours and weekends, sometimes frustrated by the constant feeling of catching up on tasks and meetings, and having to make decisions on new problems that pop up in real-time.

But there's an upside to this atmosphere: In other jobs where you're not trying to build something from the ground up, your co-workers often become friendly faces but little else. In a startup environment, the people around you become your most valuable assets because they help you think through problems and come up with solutions. You truly rely on each other.

Our greatest challenge has also become our greatest strength. We are forced to prioritise the activities that we believe will have the greatest impact and work as a unit to achieve our goals together. We’ve built an incredible team and I’m so proud of them. 

What major milestones have you achieved, and what's next!?

We are now working with over 120 venues with halls to hire across North London! 100 venues was a huge milestone for us. Another great milestone was hosting our 1000th event, which happened to be a kids birthday party in Haringey.  

What’s next? We continue to grow, we are just closing our third round of investment which gives us a great opportunity to scale our marketing activity and our product development roadmap. We hope this will not only increase the number of community venues available to hire here in London, but also see us host far more events, from fitness classes to baby groups and birthday parties.

We have a referral scheme to recommend new venues to Sharesy, which will earn you £60 and help bring much-needed income to the venue. Read more here!

Thanks, Felix!

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