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Tech Pitch: Debut

Startups gets to grips with the new careers app which allows students to secure an internship or graduate job by simply playing a mobile game...

Company name: Debut
Founder: Charles Taylor (26)
Background: Taylor is ex-British Army, police, and a former senior consultant at EY
Based in: London

Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?

  • Debut is the world’s first mobile app that allows students to secure an internship or graduate job at blue chip companies just by playing a mobile game or being ‘Talent Spotted’.
  • For the first time students can ‘game the system’ and fast track the 40 hours spent on applying for internships and graduate schemes.
  • There is also a “Talent Spot” feature which enables top employers to target students and graduates directly, inviting them to events, interviews or even fast-tracking students to assessment centres, directly via their mobile phone…

Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?

Until now the most mobile audience in the world have been unable to reach the most digital employers in the world – through their mobile.

In 2014 almost 500,000 applications from students at just 30 universities inundated hundreds of companies; yet despite this vast amount of applications,over 150,000 vacancies were left unfilled.

This highlights an issue that entry level recruitment processes haven't yet understood or embraced how best to engage young people in the modern world. With thousands of grads and interns battling it out for jobs and internships year on year, the application process has become tedious and repetitive. As a result, students are becoming disillusioned and leading businesses are not getting the talent they need.

To fill this need, Debut was created.

Are you funded?

So far we have raised two rounds of investment and are about to start a third round of investment in the summer. This will all go towards developing our technology.

What were you doing before starting?

Taylor studied PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) at the University of York and whilst studying there he trained with the police, worked at the House of Commons and later went on to win an award for flying solo with the Royal Navy.

After graduating in 2011, Taylor did what most graduates do and applied to get a job through graduate schemes. He applied to 40 different jobs and attended 10 assessment centre days. He eventually secured a job with EY and, at the same time, also became the lead healthy and safety school governor for an infant school in North London and joined the British Army Reserves, as part of their intelligence unit, whom he is still with.

Through his experience of trying to get a graduate job, he came up with the idea of Debut to ensure that other graduates didn’t have to go through the time intensive, frustrating process that he had. Debut was selected as one of the companies to be part of EY’s 18-month Accelerate programme for UK start-ups, and in April 2015 Debut won the Google Developers Launchpad. Debut has just been invited to join a “De-accelerate” programme with mentors such as the vice president of Walt Disney and the CEO of Atletico de Madrid.

His vision is for Debut to become the number one global app for student careers.

What’s the best thing about where you’re based?

Being based in London offers so many opportunities for Debut. London has a great amount of universities which offers a great talent pool of potential new users.

The capital is also the UK’s hub for technology companies and gives us the chance to network with other companies, some of which can sign up to use the app and invest in the company. This ability to connect is vital for our start-up to grow and through this growth we can offer our users a better service and better opportunities with fantastic companies.


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