Sproose is a relatively young company that offers an on-demand laundry service. Users can schedule a pick up and return time online, with Sproose collecting, cleaning and returning clothes within 48 hours. The company was founded by 3 UCD graduates; Conor Wilson and Cormac Lavelle, both of whom graduated in 2014 with MSc Petroleum Geoscience, and Pat McKenna, who graduated in 2014 with BSc General Science (Comp Science Major).
According to Conor Wilson, the idea for Sproose came about while he was doing a household task that most of us would switch off our brains to complete, unloading the washing machine after a day at work. While wishing for an easier option, the idea for Sproose clicked in his mind, like cogs in an engine, and so the idea to develop the app was born.
Naturally, such a bold idea would require a lot of market research to see if there was even a need for it in the Irish market. Conor says that there was an intensive week of market research combining a blend of street surveys in Dublin, and some market research revealing that the average person spends 92 minutes per week doing laundry, resulting in the birth of Sproose as a limited company which began trading in October of this year.
The company had a “soft launch” earlier this year, which consisted of a flyering campaign, a social media campaign and the classic word of mouth approach. Using Google Analytics to track traffic to their website Sproose has been able to identify their key demographic (tech savvy students and young professionals). Then, they were able to fine tune their advertising to cater for this market ahead of the company’s “hard launch” by offering student discounts and deals for professionals entailing shirt/suit combos, all of which will be advertised on social media.
Conor also has some advice for aspiring young entrepreneurs: “just go for it, and not to be afraid. Many people have great ideas, but just do not act upon them and that is what sets people like the Sproose founders apart from others. Dublin is one of the best hub cities in the world for fostering start-ups and there has never been a better time to try. Besides, even if you fail, you can learn from it and try again. What have we got to lose?”
By Bill Horan