- The Club
We are pleased to continue our series in the OPC monthly eNews in which business ventures of alumni in their twenties and thirties are profiled. This month, read about Armago, an app that enables students to find opportunities to play sport and to exercise with other students. OP Raef Jackson (2013-18) is Head of Strategy for the company, which was founded by Bristol student, Mark Bushby. Armago has recently been enrolled by Start It PRO, the incubator scheme for current and former pupils of St Paul’s and its partner schools aged 18-23.
The scheme aids Armago in two core ways: funding and support. Funding of £3000 has been provided to the company, who will use the funds for various costs as they grow. Support has already come in the form of mentorship from the School and external volunteers, which OP Raef Jackson believes is “invaluable” for Armago. In what is a very exciting time for the company, he states: “The process of onboarding potential customers across the country is thrilling but naturally, there are challenges. Being able to turn to people with a range of experiences is something we are very grateful for.”
The Armago app will enable students (initially those studying at the University of Bristol) to connect with one another based on their chosen sport, location, availability and ability. Many students drop the sports they enjoyed at school when they reach university or, having had the best of intentions at the start of their first year, stop playing within a few weeks of term. This is usually due to constraints on their time or the conflicting schedules of different sports. The app founder realised there was a gap in the market for an app to address this problem. Since today’s students are very much accustomed to using apps for any number of lifestyle-related solutions, it made sense to create one for sport.
As well as enabling students to find others with whom they can exercise and practice sports, university sports clubs will be able to share details of training sessions, trials and socials via the app. The university’s senior sports management has already been in contact with the Armago team and it is hoped that Sport England might also like to learn more about the app as they look to scale it across the country. Students sign up for free (they must use a university email address) and the sports clubs will pay for the maintenance of the app (with club membership fees covering the cost). The Armago team aims to roll out the app to all universities following the Bristol launch, enabling students to take part in more sport and build a strong, sociable sporting community. If you would like to learn more about Armago, please visit the app’s website. The team also produces a podcast in which leading figures from the world of sport are interviewed.