60 second start-up: Studentbeans.com

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

We help brands access, understand and engage the youth market and we make the lives of young people a little more awesome via our websites studentbeans.com and morebeans.com, our research and reports.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

Brands such as Google, O2, ASOS and Nando’s reach our audience via advertising, campaigns and promotions.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

No one does it quite like we do and our mission is to make life more fun for young people. The combination of editorial and deals make us unique, although we’re competing with how young people choose to spend their time online. This spans voucher websites, newspapers and social media platforms.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Access to exclusive deals and discounts, a tone of voice that students resonate with and a loyal following on campus.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

We started with a low interest loan from The Prince’s Trust and we have grown organically ever since.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

I had just finished university when I started studentbeans.com. I always knew I wanted to do something different and at university I worked as a brand manager for Yellow Pages, did work placements in The Philippines and Colombia and organised events on campus. All these opportunities lay the foundations for my next steps.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

The idea came about as part of a final year university project to create a business plan and I decided to set up studentbeans.com after graduating alongside my brother Michael. Having grown up in the age of the Internet, we knew that when students arrived in a new city, they would turn to the web for help. Being in an unfamiliar city and living on a limited budget is tough. But we knew that the Internet and a little entrepreneurialism on our part could solve these problems. Michael came up with the name - with Baked Beans being a staple diet for students and the aim of studentbeans.com becoming the staple diet for student life.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Realising that you can’t grow a business on your own. It’s about building a team of experts around you and empowering them to take responsibility. With a team of over 40 staff and expanding to a new office in Kentish Town next month, we provide people with opportunities and are looking to recruit for another 10 roles.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

In the early days I went round Birmingham city centre dressed in a life size blue bean costume. Promoting in a club one night, I ended up being punched full on in the face as I peered through the viewfinder of my outfit!.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

I’d say a Party Ring! It’s youthful, fun and comes in lots of different colours.

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

I’m a big fan of Hailo - it is great to see their success. For someone who travels about a lot in London, they’ve created a solution for both customers and drivers alike.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

In the last three months I’ve visited Australia, South Africa and New York and I look forward to future travels and international opportunities. We’ll have established ourselves in our new office in Kentish Town and we will have filled all the roles that we are recruiting for to take the business to another level.


To find out more about Student Beans, click here, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Catch up with last week's 60 Second Start-Up here.


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