DS Performance

About DS Performance

DS Performance is a sports performance company, supplying sport-specific development strategies through strength and conditioning support for a range of sports. They are an athlete-focused, athlete-driven company, embedding elite performance.

DS Performance logo

Joining the Innovation Hothouse

Founder David Smith joined the Innovation Hothouse in July 2021, as a University of Derby graduate from BSc Sport and Exercise Science – Strength and Conditioning.

Joining the Innovation Hothouse has provided David with a multitude of opportunities. He explains: “I try to attend as many events organised and advertised by the Hothouse because they allow me to access specific knowledge and skill sets, along with providing opportunities to support services I didn’t know were available to me. For example, throughout my membership at the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, I worked with a Business Coach to start the process of revisiting areas of my businesses such as marketing strategy, customer mind mapping, value proposition and much more.”

David also got involved with the University of Derby’s Productivity through Innovation programme, helping him to advertise two roles for student interns. David explains: “With the University of Derby’s help, we managed to acquire two students on 80-hour internships which involved SEO, website development, digital marketing, and strategy development.

Both roles were successful and brought specific knowledge and support to DS Performance. As a result, DS Performance has seen an increase in organic traffic to the website due to the website ranking higher in Google. Furthermore, from the marketing processes put in place, we have now achieved our most successful paid advertising campaigns, with more interactions via social media, leading to more website traffic, which is great for our exposure and gathering information about our customer demographic.”

Getting Involved

As a member of the Innovation Hothouse, David can attend meetings and workshops at the Enterprise Centre which are organised by the Innovation Hothouse. This has allowed him to network and build relationships with key figures within the University of Derby. He explains: “I have attended events such as the Derbyshire Festival of Business, Ask the Expert, and funding/support workshops. This is where I met Mark Gilman, Professor of Economics at the University and was introduced to his support network.

After meeting Mark, I registered for the Regional Economic Observatory and received support from Mark specifically around building a short, medium, and long-term strategy for the continuing development and growth of DS Performance, which all started with what our purpose, vision and values are as a company. I continue to work with Mark to develop a strategy which includes product development, incorporating new technologies and delivery systems.”

Looking forward

With all the support he has received from the Innovation Hothouse, David is confident and excited to see DS Performance grow further as a business. He states: “DS Performance is growing and I’m very excited about what the next few months will bring, as we have just been recognised by Amazon as a company with large potential for growth. Amazon now supports us with our own Associate Partner Manager from the Global Sales Team."

David Smith

From the opportunities I’ve had access to from the Innovation Hothouse, it could be a real game changer for DS Performance and the sports performance sector moving forward.

David Smith
Founder of DS Performance

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