Frugl: An Amazing App For Cheap Nights Out
F rugl: A Great new app for anyone in london who wants a night out without it costing the earth.

We met the founder Suzanne Noble at a start-up accelerator hosted by Henry Chuks, author of Gorilla Theory(check out his site gorillatheory.com) What we found was a very positive piece of tech that has practical application and solves an issue that many of us have. Where to go on a budget and how to promote a budget night out?!

We also wanted to know more about Suzanne and her journey to developing this app and it's always better to let them tell their story in their own words.

Here are her words, in her own words:

We launched Frugl for iPhones in mid-March. It's an events discovery app that helps Londoners on a budget find affordable things to do. Frugl features live music and live comedy, nightclubs, workshops, guided walks and lectures. We even have some events aimed at parents with young children. All the events featured are £10 and under, with many of them free.
The app has been completed self-funded by myself and it has been a real labour of love. I've been a culture vulture since moving to London as a kid from New York. Discovering under-the-radar events is a passion of mine. The problem is that there's so much to do in London that finding things to do that don't cost the earth can take up the best part of an hour or two. I wanted to make that process easy, not to mention available to anyone while out and about. With access to geolocation technologies, social sharing and other technologies, it was possible to make a very easy to use app that we could offer free to users to download.
My CTO and I went on an accelerator programme called Accelerator Academy at the beginning of the year with a view to raising investment. It was like doing a mini MBA and we both learnt so much, not least of which about how to structure the business. We completed the programme at the start of April and, since then, we have spent every week meeting investors and networking. It's a great way to get the word out about Frugl and see what other start-ups are doing in London. We are getting quite a bit of interest so I'm confident it won't be long until we raise the money we are looking for to build a more sophisticated system and scale to other cities.
With a background in PR, most of the marketing of the app is being done at very low cost. We were lucky to get a half page feature in Metro two weeks after launching which really drove downloads and has continued to have an impact.
We are now looking to work with event promoters and brands who want to showcase what they are doing on Frugl and offer value for our users. Anyone can submit an event or an offer on the app for free via frugl.com and we encourage them to do so!

What has your journey been like from inception of the idea, to execution of the plan?

I hate to quote a cliche but it has been a bit of a roller coaster. The idea started as a web based app, then migrated into more of a website before ultimately we decided to invest in creating a native app. Along the way we got burnt by one developer. Once I found a CTO the whole process went smoothly.

How long has your journey been?

Almost two years to where we are now.

What kind of things have you learnt, about you, about tech, about starting up?

To listen to those around you, build a good team and not to try and do too much all at once. Also, to make sure that whatever you build is scaleable. In terms of tech I've learned the difference between a native, hybrid and web based app and about databases. And I've learnt how to read a spreadsheet.

What else have you learnt on your journey?

The most important lesson I've learned is that finding good people who really understand and share your vision can take time. My CTO and I interviewed lots of agencies, developers and talked to loads of people in the industry before appointing a team to build Frugl. During that period we learned so much because there are quite a few different ways to build an app and most developers want to sell you on what they know how to do best rather than what is actually the best for the job.

What would you say has been the toughest part of starting out?

Juggling the all the different aspects of running a start-up because there's not a budget to hire more people. At the moment I do the marketing and PR, curate the content along with an intern, go to networking events most evenings and work with our CTO and CFO on our business plan and pitches.

Would you do it again?

I am a serial entrepreneur. Over the years I've produced a TV series, run a PR agency and now I'm starting again with a tech business. I can't say that I won't do it again but I'm really enjoying running and growing Frugl right now.

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