Tell us what your business does?
Runlastman.com is a revolutionary new Irish website allowing clubs, teams and charities to raise funds through Last Man Standing competitions and was recently launched by Dublin GAA star Alan Brogan. Last Man Standing competitions, where entrants pick a different team (Premier League soccer, Rabo Pro 12 rugby or GAA fixtures) to win each week until only one person is left and declared the winner, are a primary fundraising tool for many club public relations and charity officers around the country. RunLastMan.com ensures clubs and charities can save time and effort in managing these fundraisers as the service is fully automated and takes under five minutes to set up and register.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
We have both played GAA and soccer, respectively since we were kids and have seen firsthand how difficult it can be for clubs just to stay afloat.Noticing over the last few years how people moving away from their home communities was causing clubs to turn to more far reaching methods of fundraising, we thought that there was surely an online solution to allow people to be still be able to contribute to their local clubs and communities and have some fun in the process.
We wanted to create a service that gives fundraisers a simple and effective tool to raise funds. Knowing that last man standing competitions are a very popular way of raising money for clubs and charities we set out to build a site that guarantees the stress and time of managing one is taken away from the person who sets it up.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Both of us have always been interested in running our own businesses and have delved into the online startup scene in the past. We both appreciate the excitement of getting something that you created on to the news and into all the papers and we have picked up some great mentors along the way.
What planning did you do before you started up?
Before we started out we did a feasibility study (kind of like a mini business plan) and phoned 78 clubs or so with a survey to see if there was interest in clubs using the product. Survey Monkey was great for us here to collect feedback from the clubs and overall the feedback was all very positive.
The guys in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Enterprise Board were great and funded a decent portion of the design and development of our earliest MVP, which we were then able to secure some small funding with to get off the ground.
Which entrepreneurs do you admire?
GC – I like the Collinson brothers as they’ve achieved an incredible amount at such a young age and were brave enough to go to the States when only in their teens.
DH – My current favorite is Ed Hendrick CEO, of Sonru.com. He is bullish and straight talking and has come from nowhere to lead the world in video interviewing with customers such as Nestle, Apple, Paddypower and Qatar Airways. He is an inspiration for people like myself and is still grounded enough to take phone calls and help people like us out without batting an eye.
What challenges have you faced & how have you overcome them?
We’ve faced them all so far; from a lack of money and putting your personal life on hold is tough, to getting plenty of no’s from customers at the start, to a shortage of development skills in the team. We’ve overcome them all by staying positive no matter what happens and by taking great advice from good mentors.
How have you promoted your business?
We promote our business as a way for people to help their local clubs and have raised nearly €4,000 in the last 10 weeks for Irish clubs and charities. Luckily we have a great PR advisor who really believes in us and managed our launch from start to finish, getting huge national press for us. In the few days since the launch we’ve been receiving a massive amount of positive press, which has been great for getting more clubs and charities signed up. We also have an investor with decades of marketing experience which has given us a great boost.
Are you optimistic about 2014?
We’re super optimistic about 2014 and every Irish person should be. There’s never been so much opportunity for people to start something themselves if they are struggling to find a job or just get the urge. We’ve big plans for 2014 with the UK firmly in our sight.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Stay positive and surround yourselves with great advisors and mentors. Don’t get sucked into the negativity of the press as there’s lots of a real opportunity out there.