37. RefME

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Founder: Tom Hatton
Founded: March 2014
Website: www.refme.com

Founder of RefME Tom Hatton was frustrated with the tedious but necessary process of referencing while studying at Oxford Brookes; finding existing tools to be outdated and often incorrect.

The beginnings of his simple solution was an app that scans barcodes from books or journals, which then blossomed into RefME, a web and mobile tool to help students easily generate citations, reference lists and bibliographies. An instantly appealing proposition for any student, the young entrepreneur knew he was onto something when he overheard students recommending the app to each other on a bus – and since launch last year, the business has seen explosive growth. Claiming faster growth than Twitter and Pinterest in their first years, the app has also overtaken Spotify and eBay in the download charts, with an estimated 800,000 users to date.

At just 24, young entrepreneur Hatton is CEO of a company with 36 employees that was recently selected by the London Mayor’s Office and UKTI for a trade mission to the US. He is confident the app can hit five million users by the end of 2015, and says his ultimate goal is to “remove the search from research”. With the global publishing market worth an estimated $150bn, this young start-up is in prime position to exploit it.

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