Young entrepreneurs: Christian Samuel, University Cribs
From running an antique pot company aged 12 to founding a proptech start-up aged 23, this young founder has an appetite for business
Name: Christian Samuel
Company: University Cribs
At the age of 23, not many people can say they've been running businesses for 11 years but Christian Samuel is an exception.
Aged 12, during the time that his friends would play football at the park, Samuel would buy and sell antique pots and, “while not the most exciting childhood venture”, made sales of nearly £3,000. This return on investment whet his appetite for enterprise.
After leaving school at the age of 16 – “my mindset was not suited to the uniformity of school” – Samuel went on to import then kid's craze Gogo toys to sell at local primary fairs. He later moved on from collectible figurines to set up an events and marketing business, followed by another events and marketing company which he still runs; operating 40 student events in cities across the UK.
Fast forward to 2017 and Samuel's latest venture, University Cribs, looks set to be his most successful business yet.
Launched with co-founders Daniel Jefferys and Jack Jenkins in November of last year, University Cribs capitalised on the growing demand for proptech (property technology) solutions with a property search engine specifically designed with students in mind.
The platform connects students to accommodation providers across the UK, charging letting agents and private halls of residence to list their properties on the portal.
With two “significant” funding rounds behind it, Samuel has global aspirations for University Cribs and is already eyeing up growth through networks in America, Europe and Australia while considering other verticals, such as insurance providers, to target in the UK.
Speaking on life as a young entrepreneur, Samuel admits that it can be tough to “gain the attention and respect of others in your industry” but believes the pros outweigh the cons:
“I can get up each day and focus solely on pursuing my dreams, without being constrained by life circumstances like many older entrepreneurs.”