David Stapleton earned his BA in Business & Marketing at Griffith College in 2010, and went on to found Bua Fit, the first app of its kind. We talked to him about his journey.
Your story is unique. Please give us some background about it.
I moved to London in 2011 after completing an MSc in Marketing Practice. I spent several years working in London trading floors (FX and Equities) before I decided it wasn’t for me. In 2016, I founded Bua Fit, the app for outdoor fitness. It’s the first of its kind in the marketplace, connecting consumers and trainers to their classes. Bua Fit has support and backing from Google Startups, London Sport, entrepreneurs of multi-million-pound businesses and professional athletes.
Can you tell us about how you got here?
It’s been tough, but a very enjoyable process to get to this stage. We took the business through a number of different phases to lower risk and to build the marketplace to a small user base with consistent revenue coming in before we raised money. I bootstrapped, which means I worked before I started my 9-5 job every day as well as when I got home in the evenings and every weekend for 3 years. I invested all my savings, income and have fallen into debt to bring the business to revenue stage. Our data is saying we have a ‘product love’ which is exciting for our growth plans. We’ve also attracted really good investors.
Tell us a little about your Griffith experience.
I loved Griffith! My experience was great and really suited my learning style. I loved being in small classes, and I made great friends. I have some amazing memories of hanging around campus. I especially loved my time in Eilis’s marketing classes. We learnt a lot and had some laughs with some amazing people.
I was entrepreneurial from a young age and was regularly looking for ways to make money. In fact, I set up my first business during my time at Griffith, with two friends. We removed the hassle of purchasing and disposing of Christmas trees and provided an online service in 2009; our venture was called ‘Trees on Wheels’!
How has Griffith helped you in terms of professional and personal development?
Immensely. I never really listened much in secondary school – I was more interested in rugby. At Griffith, I learned the basics of business principles from accounting and economics to marketing. I also learned how to present and speak in front of people, which has been a big help.
Griffith was the first educational environment where I really started to work hard and knuckle down so I realised that productivity creates opportunities. Massive action is the solution to everything.