P | P | P feat. Good With

We caught up with Gabriela Isas, Founder and MD at Good With, as part of ‘Product | People | Potential’. Good With is a fintech/edtech startup with a mission to develop engaging mobile applications to educate young adults on personal finance.

The purpose of article series ‘Product | People | Potential’ is to feature and showcase the very best UK start-ups with great potential, truly inspiring businesses that are shaking up their sector. We capture and share the stories behind the name. We collate authentic peer to peer real-talk, while celebrating the growth and success thus far and gather a glimpse of what’s ahead.

Alex @ ADLIB: Can you please introduce yourself, what your business does, what stage you are at currently and what makes your business and offering unique?

Gabriela: Hi, I’m Gabriela. I’m a Southern California native from a small beach town, now living in a small beach town in the South West, Bude Cornwall, where I’ve launched an Fintech / Edtech start-up called Good With.

I founded Good With to teach young adults how money works in a way that’s practical, engaging and relevant to their lifestyles and life stage.

We are taking a game-changing approach to develop engaging mobile applications to educate young adults on personal finance. Using cutting edge voice, AI technology and sophisticated real-time algorithms, Good With’s applications will help 18-24 year old users make savvy financial decisions and develop a robust credit score which will give them access to fairer finance. This holistic approach to financial wellbeing is what separates us from other solutions.

We are a pre-seed start-up with funding from Innovate UK, support from Oxford Innovation as well as university innovation programmes in the South West, with advisors from PayPal, UCL, Fintech start-ups and Tech4Good, and we’re now looking to hire the founding team.

Alex @ ADLIB: Can you share the story behind the origin of your business and Service / Product?

Gabriela: After graduating from university, some time ago, I fell into unmanageable debt, which ended up narrowing my career options. I wasn’t thinking ‘what job do I want’, rather ‘how do I pay off this debt’, and keep my parents from finding out. The trouble was, I had no one to teach me about money. Not schools. Not parents.

When I moved to the UK, I noticed that young people entering the economy weren’t being taught how to manage money at school and only some at home. Being unable to make informed choices means that they’re more at risk of falling into the ‘credit building’ trap. These are costly but avoidable choices.

Good With exists to help young adults understand how to be good with money and in so doing, keep their options and life choices, open. Financial education isn’t sexy, but we’re on a mission to make it personal and relevant, because it is.

Alex @ ADLIB: Speaking of People, can you share some challenges you are anticipating around scaling and growing your team? Do you have any top tips you could share with those businesses faced with the same issues?

Gabriela: As a FinTech solution we are competing with London for talent. Whilst the South West of England is home to some of the UK’s most distinguished universities and tech companies, we can’t match the quantity of opportunities that exist in London.

Focussing on the benefits of working for a socially ambitious start-up like Good With within the UK’s world-leading Fintech/Edtech industries, that counts on the support of advisors who are internationally recognised experts in their fields, helps raise our profile as we seek to build out the team.

As the world pivots to a new normal, meeting, planning and working remotely, we’re also enjoying more access to resources and interest from talent across the UK. A Cornwall-based company like Good With, positioned amongst some of England’s most awe-inspiring nature is an attractive proposition to those who want to enjoy what the south coast has to offer whilst working at a start-up that’s benefiting society.

Alex @ ADLIB: Moving to Product, what has been your approach to understanding and implementing product market fit or sales cycles?

Gabriela: Product market fit happens when we solve problems for the full spectrum of our users’ financial needs. We’re delivering personalised and contextual financial education based on the user’s financial acumen to make it fast and easy to learn and confidently apply those skills to real life, which is where others have failed.

As a founder with a background in UX, market and customer research, our approach has been and will continue to be, user-focussed.

We recognise that financial education as it exists today is dull, which is why so few young adults have a handle on their finances. When we did our research with 18-24 year olds, we found that the majority, 82%, knew of no relevant tools that could teach them about money, but most are keen to learn.

We’ve put our ideas before our target user: 75% would use it and 89% of their parents, the primary source of financial advice of our target, would support it.

We will continue to validate with our users, early and often, and evolve the product based on that insight so that we are solving our users’ problems in a way that’s meaningful to them.

Alex @ ADLIB: And then Potential, can you share some challenges or barriers you had to overcome to create a Product / Service offering with potential?

Gabriela: We’re out to solve for that FOFO (fear of finding out) moment – that moment you know you’ve spent too much and are burying your head in the sand…most people can relate.

Our main challenge is to capture our users’ attention when that FOFO moment happens, so that they know there’s a solution designed specifically for them. The best way to do that is to gain a deep understanding of and empathy with, our end user, to ensure we are developing a delightful experience that they come back to again and again.

We’re differentiating ourselves from budgeting apps that track spending, tell you not to buy that almond milk latte and make you feel bad when you’ve blown through your cash. Showing that we’re not a digital version of a textbook, is another challenge. We give our users the information to make informed decision about their money. As they see how their spending / saving decisions are bringing them closer to their goals, big or small, they begin to understand how money works and feel empowered and informed.
Solving for FOFO is how we create a scalable product.

Alex @ ADLIB: Investment can often be a challenge for start-ups & scale-ups. Do you have any piece of wisdom you could share around best approach?

Gabriela: Like finding the right team, finding the right investors is vital to business success. Investors have distinct priorities and for a company like Good With, who is interested in the triple bottom line (People, Planet and Profit) we want to attract investors who understand and support disruptive and innovate business models and whose values align with ours.

When you’ve identified the kind of investor that will suit your business, approach them like you would your own customer. What are their priorities and do yours align with theirs? Be clear about your strengths and weaknesses and what your mitigation plans are. This will show two things: you are aware that you have them (we all do) and you have a plan to address them (we all should) now and in the future.

Thank You for sharing!

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Alex Cosgrove