85. We Connect Students
The disruptive platform turning student recruitment on its head
Founder: Oliver Dickinson and Clive Banks
Founded: June 2010 (launched May 2012)
As a student himself, Dickinson was well aware of the trials and tribulations of the graduate recruitment market. Frustrated by what he believed to be an ineffective existing process, he had his light bulb moment; why not turn the process on its head? Charging either a one-off fee per search or a larger fee for unlimited access, We Connect Students provides employers with a searchable database of students, offering them the chance to find the perfect candidates without trawling through hundreds of unsuitable CVs. With 40,000 students currently on the site (and numbers doubling in size every three months) and 400 existing employers from start-ups to large multi-nationals, it’s a concept that is proving extremely popular. No stranger to success, Dickinson started his first business – a guerrilla marketing company – at just 16. Co-founder Banks is a seasoned investor, and former global head of FX at the largest investment bank in the world. Whilst not the most obvious pairing, the two appear to have a winning partnership. With £500,000 investment backing, another £200,000 round about to close and 17 employees, the duo have ambitious plans to monopolise the entire student market.