If you think activities such as yoga are more about perk than performance, then think again.

What’s good for the mind and body is also good for business, says Sam Burgess.

Burgess is a former Army veteran who founded SamsonVT with Ed Brunyee in 2017. The business, which topped our sister publication BusinessCloud’s FactoryTech 50 ranking this year and is focused on assisting automotive repairs, is now operating under flagship brand Partful.

Team members are exposed to activities such as yoga, meditation and, more recently, ecstatic dance.

“I’ve been on a personal journey with mindfulness and meditation,” the CEO tells TechBlast. “What works for me is exercise: jujitsu, CrossFit and also taking the time not just to meditate – whether that’s through dancing or through more traditional meditative methods – but trying to instigate that within the business. 

“I see the values of it: healthy mind, healthy body… they go hand in hand. Being a business leader looking to maximise output from individuals, it’s about getting them into peak performance.

“I look at it like a sports team: I want them to be super healthy, super happy, and really enjoying being here at work, doing stuff – but that isn’t just writing code or getting on the phones.

“There are other aspects to building that team shape and unity: yoga, meditation and ecstatic dance are just one of the many tools at our disposal.”

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After conceding that I’ve never heard of ecstatic dance, Burgess explains: “It’s just freely moving to music. We’ve a roof terrace here [at our Manchester HQ] and it was like Ibiza up there this morning!

“The synergies between exercise and success in any discipline are super important! Just getting the blood pumping around the body makes a world of difference.”

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Partful, founded in 2017, was initially bootstrapped then funded by angel investment, crowdfunding and Innovate UK grants. A $5.1m seed funding at the start of 2022 was led by Par Equity, with participation from US-based Blumberg Capital.

Burgess told us last year that at one time the Army was his life – but his time in the Royal Engineers is now making him as an entrepreneur.

With a workforce approaching 50 and having secured 28 manufacturers as clients, it is eyeing a Series A round of funding next year to launch more fully into the United States and Europe – it has a presence in both – and has ambitions of becoming Manchester’s next unicorn business.

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