Matthew Mansell is the Founder and CEO of Athlo. Athlo is an app that allows gym-members and class package holders to rent out their membership to other gym-goers for cash when they’re not using it, earning back on their membership fee or class pack in return.
Meanwhile, for those looking to temporarily rent a membership, it provides access to gyms and classes on-demand at preferential rates, without the need for expensive one-off-fees or subscriptions. Not only does Athlo solve a number of prominent issues for gym-goers, it also provides gym operators with some much-needed control – helping to reduce member churn, preventing memberships from being frozen, and improving retention.
Matthew grew up abroad, including Oman, Alaska, and Singapore. He returned to the UK, to attend Gordonstoun School in Scotland, where he played rugby for the North of Scotland. In 2004, he attended the University of Bath, where he studied Sports Science and played academy rugby for Bath Rugby Club. During a two-year sabbatical from his degree in Sport & Exercise Science, Matthew moved to France to play professional rugby for a club called Auch.
After living in the south-west of France, he moved back to London to attend St Mary’s University and complete his degree. After graduating, Matthew worked in Asset Management and finance. He saw an opportunity within the Health & Fitness space that could tap into the sharing economy trend.
Matthew has launched Athlo initially in the UK, with international expansion in the platform’s future. Today, Athlo has 4.5k pre-registered users with over 80 gyms on the platform, currently offering over a thousand classes per week. Partnered gyms currently include Sweat by BXR, The Manor, MoreYoga, Paola’s BodyBarre, The Altitude Training Centre, and Milo and the Bull. Future partners include LondonCryo, Metabolic, One Ldn, KXU, Arc Athletics, Rowbots, Grndhouse and Myoset to name a few.
Where did the idea for Athlo come from?
As with most ideas, the embryonic idea was from a pain point I was personally experiencing. I had multiple gym memberships and financially needed to make my health journey more affordable without compromising on my goals and demands. The sharing economy was very much in it’s heyday at the time and I saw how principles from it could be utilized to better serve the Health & Fitness community as a whole.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
No day is the same as an early stage business, one consistency is I make sure I get a workout in first thing in the morning which sets my day up nicely.
How do you bring ideas to life?
With a lot of hard work, consistency and leaning on others for support.
What’s one trend that excites you?
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
Exercise and self-care. Get the fundamentals right with your sleep, exercise, nutrition, lifestyle and you’ll have an advantage over most.
What advice would you give your younger self?
No one cares, work harder.
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you on?
England won’t win another Football World Cup.
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
Listen, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
Hire people that are better than you. You can’t do everything as a Founder and learning to delegate is a hard but vital lesson which is made remarkably easier when working with people that are better than you.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
Take your time when choosing your team, early stage requirement pressures can clout your judgment, make sure you aren’t rushing into a decision. I’m far more hands on now with all hires and on-boarding than I ever have been.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Time management is an area that I think most can improve on, there’s an idea in there.
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Asana, makes my life that little bit more efficient.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast you’ve gotten a ton of value from and why?
The Lion Trackers Guide to Life by Boyd Varty.
- Hire people better than you
- Listen more, that’s where growth sits
- Take your time
- Focus on fundamentals
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.