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Getting Your Start-up Out There: Top Tips from Viva la Vita Co-founder, Styliana Vasili

Tue, 16 September 2014

’Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.’(Howard H. Aiken)
Viva la Vita is an iPhone app providing a handpicked shortlist of 10-20 unique fitness classes happening in London this week, payable with two taps. Think yoga at The Shard, Parkour and Chessboxing!
 
This leads us nicely to our top, TOP tip for the founder(s) of any new business. Accept any opportunity to talk about your business. Take this article as an example. You more than likely hadn’t heard of Viva la Vita’s existence, now you have and you may check us out on the AppStore. You never know who may be reading about your business…
 
Don't be scared to get your idea out there. No one is going to ‘steal’ it. That was our main concern at the start and we were so reluctant to share it with other people. But what we soon realised was that, at some point, we needed to start spreading the word, get feedback and most importantly, make it known to the startup community!  
 
Realistically anyone you know working in their 9-5 job is not going to quit in order to pursue your idea and make it happen. Those who would take the plunge are probably already working on their own ‘big idea’. 
 
Start a crowdfunding campaign. We crowdfunded on Seedrs and found that we went from being ‘Viva la Who?’ to a real company called Viva la Vita. Over 100 investors backed us and we raised almost £35,000 in capital. We would advise any new business to consider crowdfunding because the process provides you with exposure and support at an early stage. It’s all well and good silently working away on your amazing idea in some corner of the UK, but if nobody has heard of your business, it doesn’t matter how good your idea is!
 
Enter competitions for startups. A great competition to enter is of course the Shell LiveWIRE Awards. Endorsement by such a well-known company not only validates an idea but can also act as a catalyst in its success! 
 
Wear your brand. If you’re not proud enough of your company to promote it and ‘fly the flag’, then why should anyone else root for you? For us, purple is the new black and we wear our company logo everywhere. We’ve dressed our phones in branded covers, our wrists with purple bracelets and our laptops with stickers. Soon we’ll be getting our cars wrapped with our logo! For new businesses with a limited budget, in our experience, it’s important to be visible. 
 
Take Richard Branson as a great example of this. He’s gone to great lengths to promote his brand. He’s dressed himself up in a wedding dress, posed as a Zulu Warrrior and moonied the world. Now if Richard Branson is good enough to self-promote his own brand then so are you! 
 

About Styliana Vasili (Co-founder of Viva la Vita)

 
Styliana is the co-founder of Viva la Vita, an app that aims to provide a new, fun and easy way to book fitness classes. The Viva la Vita app which refreshes daily to provide a shortlist of the best fitness classes happening in London today and tomorrow. Bookings are easily made through the app and proof of purchase is stored within the application as a ticket for reference and admittance. Viva la Vita have successfully partnered with 40 fitness providers, including member only gyms which have agreed to waiver this requirement for app users. 
 
You can follow Viva la Vita on Twitter.
 

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