Entrepreneur Stories: Wylder
20 June 2023
Wylder is one of the newest start-ups to spin out of Launchpad, with a mantra to help people be inspired, connect to nature and feel better. We caught up with founder Kate Nicholls to find out more.
Tell us about Wylder
Wylder is the new wellbeing app to help people connect to nature and feel better. It offers challenges which encourage people to get outside, discover what’s on their doorstep and capture mindful moments.
All challenges encourage users to discover, appreciate and share mindful moments in nature with the rest of the Wylder community, spreading inspiration and positive action. Our message is simple - get Wylder and let nature do the rest.
How did the idea for the platform come about?
In 2018, I had a life changing mountain bike accident. From this I had post-concussion syndrome, a condition with symptoms from brain fog to balance issues to chronic fatigue and extreme noise sensitivity. Although it was a very challenging few years, the long-term recovery from the accident made me slow down; it was this that gave me first-hand experience of seeing nature with new eyes, giving me a unique insight into how a more meaningful connection could be made. This became my inspiration and in 2022 Wylder was founded.
What is the key ethos?
We all know that time outside makes us feel better, but our research highlights that time, weather and motivation are stopping people from doing so even though 85% of people we spoke to strongly want to get outside more to improve their wellbeing.
The Wylder challenges give users a unique and easy way to get outside, anytime, anywhere; helping them to be inspired, connect to nature and feel better.
Tell us about your start-up journey, what have been the highs and lows?
I truly believe that learning to connect with nature and having a desire to help others do the same was what led to my recovery and will always be something I am grateful for.
Hearing feedback that the challenges I created, using what I learnt from my own experience, have helped people to see nature with new eyes and find joy in things they had been walking past for years makes all the hard work worth it!
It would be fair to say it has been an exciting but challenging journey so far. Wylder originally started as a Facebook group called PATCH in 2020. Back then, I was still very much recovering from the accident, so it was a challenge to manage it all while getting back to fully functioning.
In 2022, I was lucky enough to join Launchpad to help scale the offer and turn the Facebook page into an app. Getting funding to make this a reality at the start of 2023 was a huge milestone and I can’t wait for the release of the app!
When are you planning to launch, and what are your future plans?
We’re really excited to launch the first version of the Wylder app this summer! We’ll then be focussing on growing the 2000+ members of our community and developing the app based on their feedback. A key way we’re growing the app is working with partners to co-create challenges to grow our offer. Our ultimate mission is to be the go-to app for nature connection!
Any advice for someone thinking of starting their own business?
- Write down your ‘why’ - stick it up somewhere to keep it at the forefront of you mind.
- Keep it simple - focus on one thing and do it well.
- Test ideas in the cheapest and quickest way possible - you’ll find out in the end if something doesn’t work whatever you do, the quicker you know the better!
- Challenge all assumptions - speak to your target customers regularly to make sure you’re creating something people want and are willing to pay for.
- Take time to look after yourself - in the early days you are the business, so your wellbeing is key to its success.