Meet the Founder - Shea O'Hagan

November 02, 2018
Charlotte Dougall
Charlotte Dougall

Founder of Blether, helping small businesses do big things online.

Tell us a bit about what your startup does? is a two sided marketplace that allows the public to find, book and pay for the rental of suitable sports facilities, all in under 90 seconds. We also provide a linked management platform to give facility owners fine grained control of their booking and payment processes, on any device, at any time.

What was the inspiration behind your startup?

When I was captain of my college team in University, I really struggled to book a football pitch. It was a problem I’d had since I was in school. I also noticed that the local clubs had chronic under-use of their pitches and very dysfunctional booking processes. This, coupled with seeing how other online marketplaces can open other under-utilised resources, led to the obvious conclusion of

What is your background?

I recently finished my PhD in Physics. Whilst at uni I was captain of my college team and that’s when I really experienced the problem of trying to book a pitch - turns out there was one about 250m away from where I was living but nobody knew about it!

Did you always see yourself running your own company?

I always saw myself ‘building’ something. My co-founder Fearghal and I ran a music promotion company when we were at school so we’ve had entrepreneurial tendencies from a young age. It’s been fantastic that, along with Chris, we’ve been able to build a company with friends, solving a problem that we’re all acutely aware of.

What are the biggest challenges you face having your own business?

Trying to keep focused and clear on what our product is, and not getting distracted with other tangents and proposals.

If you could tell your past self one thing, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to put your product out there, even if it’s not finished. Get lots of early feedback which you can iterate on. Don’t be afraid to drop development, despite the emotional attachment you might have after many months of work!

Do you have one piece of advice you’d give to people looking to make the jump to self-employed?

Ensure you have some validation, whether that be from an existing customer or an investor. Makes the jump much easier!

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