Young Entrepreneurs: Hyrum and Josh Cook, Zeven Media
With backing from Deborah Meaden and clients including The Shard, the Cook brothers’ photo booth start-up has all the makings of a global success…
Names: Hyrum and Josh Cook
Ages: 22 and 24
Company: Zeven Media
You only need to look at the overnight success of Snapchat and Instagram to know that selfies are big business, and young brothers Josh and Hyrum Cook have taken this trend one step further with their digital photo booths.
An idea the duo conjured up from their Manchester kitchen in 2013, Zeven Media specialises in digital booths for commercial events and retail venues; allowing users to pose for a photo and share it instantly via text, Facebook, Twitter or email as well as offering a branded printout.
Said to be a UK first for photo booths, the Cooks landed their first client, none other than Selfridges, on the back of an initial cold call when they first started trading and the pair have since gone on to work with some of the country’s leading brands. Their portfolio of high-profile clients includes Harvey Nichols, Revolution, Harrods, DKNY, Adidas and The Shard, and they also boast celebrity endorsements from the likes of Olly Murs and Alexa Chung.
Businessmen from a young age – the brothers ran a confectionary venture in their school playground marking up Costco sweets – Josh and Hyrum’s enterprising nature enabled them to secure £50,000 backing from Deborah Meaden on Dragons’ Den in 2014 and rapid growth has followed. Zeven is already profitable and company turnover hit £600,000 for 2014 with £1.5m revenue projected for 2015.
Having just launched their latest product innovation; the contactless payment booth, the entrepreneurial siblings are looking at long-term lease options as the next step towards growth and plan to expand their team of 18 with a move to a new office in Old Trafford to help them achieve this goal.
A truly ‘Made in Britain’ business with each booth manufactured in the UK from “100% British materials”, the Cook brothers’ long term ambition is to become a globally recognised brand and, with European expansion already on the horizon, it’s a dream that looks set to become a reality in the not too distant future.