Student entrepreneurs: founding Fygo

, and interview Toby Lowenstein

How did the idea for Fygo come about?
Whilst studying at the University of St Andrews, my brother, Jonah, and I created a discount card for
St Andrews students to help better connect businesses with the student population. Students purchased a physical card, which would then give them discounts around town all year long.

Whilst this was very successful – we partnered with several household brands, such as Domino’s and Mountain Warehouse – a common feedback theme was that students were fed up of having to remember to say ‘scan’ or show something at checkout in order to receive their rewards, and there was no way to get rewarded for spending with friends.

In today’s world, students expect seamless, social experiences. In short, our solution was far too clunky and isolating for our liking. We were determined to build a social app that would automatically reward students for spending at their favourite businesses. We teamed up with our third Co-Founder, Ben (also from St Andrews),
and began building the ultimate update to our initial project: Fygo.

Local businesses have long been neglected by traditional loyalty and discount solutions.

Why did you choose the name Fygo?
When naming the business, we wanted to create a catchy, twosyllable, madeup word. Whilst ‘Fygo’ originates from the words ‘finance’ and ‘go’, we really enjoy the fact that that isn’t immediately obvious, which means that people can interpret the name however they choose.

Did you have any doubts about quitting university/balancing university alongside degree? How was starting a company during COVID-19?
At the start of the first lockdown, we made the decision to work full-time on Fygo in order to give the company the
best chance of succeeding. There were no doubts – we were confident that we were making the right decision, especially given the changes to university caused by the pandemic. We applied for, and were granted, leave of absences for the past academic year, and have been working full-time since March 2020. Funnily, the lockdowns
proved to be the perfect makeshift incubators for the business, as they removed any potential distractions and made it simpler for us to throw ourselves 100% into building Fygo!

There’s nothing more liberating than being responsible for your own success.

How does Fygo support businesses?
Local businesses have long been neglected by traditional loyalty and discount solutions. In our post-COVID-19 society, Fygo is here to help retailers and direct-to-consumer brands acquire new customers and retain them at a low cost. Although Gen Z customers are the highest LTV customers of all time, they are also the most difficult to keep loyal.

Do you have any advice for students looking to develop start-ups after university?
There’s nothing more liberating than being responsible for your own success. If the thought of doing your own thing feels uncomfortable, that’s perfectly natural! Embrace any insecurities you might feel and use them to propel your ambitions!

Image credits: Fygo

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