University College London – Successful Alumni who Founded Startups

If there is someone you would like to add to the list, please email us directly. Please see our shortlist below!

 

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Albert Azis-Clauson – UnderPinned

 

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Albert Azis-Clauson is a graduate of philosophy of science at UCL and today is the CEO of UnderPinned, a platform that helps freelancers build their businesses. At 25-years old, his 3 year-old startup is worth over £13m having raised over £1m within a year of graduating from university.

January 2022 will see UnderPinned launch its new freelance business accelerator – ‘The ultimate guide to freelancing’ which will help graduates fast track their freelance careers. The company has already partnered up with some of the UK’s top universities to help their graduates with employability and arms students with the knowledge and confidence to feel competent about building their freelance business.

Albert discovered he had a natural talent for helping creatives build successful businesses out of what they were doing – from selling their work to using and commercialising their skills, all to support the work that they were creating. He recognised a gap in the market for a plethora of university graduates and early-stage freelancers who had the passion, skills and crafts but left education with no real idea of how to build a successful business. Today, alongside his best friend and co-founder Jack, UnderPinned is an answer to graduates ready to take their first steps in the freelancing world. As recent graduates themselves, they are well versed in the language, skillsets and support that their peers need.

 

Phillip Baretto – Tiiny Host

 

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Philip Baretto is the founder of Tiiny Host, on a mission to prove that you don’t need to be a tech wizard to take advantage of the opportunities of web hosting. He launched Tiiny Host in 2020 to demystify and democratise web hosting through a streamlined, easy to use platform. Combining his lifelong passion for technology and equality with his years of blended corporate and startup experience; he created a platform that enables creatives to exhibit their work online, with over 40,000 sites uploaded to date. Phillip claims to be a “self taught techie” who just set out to fix a problem.

He says that the creation of Tiiny Host reminds him of being “that boy whose entrepreneurial spirit blossomed early”; vividly recalling how he “developed websites for cash on a dial up connection after school”. Philip abandoned his conventionally desirable corporate job against the advice of his family before the pandemic turned everyone into an entrepreneur. He failed in his first two ventures but gained an invaluable insight; that non-technical creatives had no accessible means of expressing and showcasing their work in an increasingly digital world.

From that epiphany came Tiiny Host, “the simplest way to host and share your web project”; a claim it’s living up to. The disruptive product removes barriers to entry for industry creatives and is the first and only one designed solely with simplicity in mind. It’s proving popular with designers, students and freelancers (over 13,000 monthly visits and doubling monthly recurring revenue every quarter).

 

Namrata Sandhu – Vaayu

 

Namrata Sandhu - Vaayu

 

From sourcing environmentally-friendly materials through to managing packaging and transportation, retailers have much to consider in terms of their environmental footprint. Outside of fossil fuel-generating businesses, retail is the biggest pollutant industry and fashion specifically generated 4% of greenhouse-gas emissions in 2018. If the sector continues to grow at its current rate, modest predictions suggest that emissions will surge by more than 50% by 2030. The only way to curb this trend is by providing retailers with granular data on every aspect of their operations so they can better understand the environmental impact of their value chain and make changes accordingly.

With climate change under the spotlight like never before, Vaayu launched in the midst of the pandemic to help retailers manage – and crucially reduce – their carbon footprint. Vaayu is the world’s first automated carbon software that helps retailers track, monitor and reduce their carbon footprint across the supply chain in real-time.

Vaayu’s software platform automatically pulls and analyses data to help retailers reduce their carbon footprint at scale. Vaayu empowers retailers with real-time data by integrating with eight of the nine largest e-commerce software providers including Shopify, which cover 75% of the online e-commerce software market.

A year on since it launched, Vaaau has already on-boarded 40+ retailers including renowned jewellery brand, Missoma, and sustainable fashion brands, Armed Angels and Organic Basics, and is in final talks with some of the world’s largest retailers.

Vaayu is the brainchild of Namrata Sandhu. The CEO and founder studied Environment and Sustainable Development at University College London and later completed Harvard University’s Sustainability Executive Leadership Program, before eventually becoming head of sustainability at leading global retailer, Zalando. This experience provided Namrata with invaluable insight into the specific challenges the retail sector has to grapple with and why existing solutions to help them become more sustainable and environmentally-friendly are a stopgap at best.

Less than a year since it launched, Vaayu raised $1.6 million in pre-seed funding to grow its customer pipeline , expand its global team and invest in product development.

Vaayu is for retailers of all sizes and prides itself on making the data as simple to understand as possible – for consumers and retailers. Its latest innovation includes product footprinting and scaling automated reduction measures for retailers. This provides consumers with unprecedented insight on the environmental footprint of individual products so they can make conscious choices and play their role in helping to meet the UN’s climate goals.

 

Sol & Sam Schlagman – Stint

 

Sol and Sam - Stint

 

Sol and Sam are brothers and also the co-founders of Stint, an app designed to connect students and hospitality businesses for short shifts of work, taking pressure off core teams and empowering a new era of customer service excellence.

Since launching in 2018, Stint has signed up over 100,000 students across 150 university campuses around the UK. Students have completed ‘stints’ with over 1,000 businesses in the hospitality sector including some of the high street’s biggest chains, such as Chipotle. There are also shifts available at high end restaurants, such as Iberica and The Wolseley.

Whilst at University College London, the brothers saw first-hand how hard it was to balance a part-time job with university life, and how hard it was to enjoy university life without enough money. They wanted to build a business where students could make money in a way that truly fits in with their lives. Stint is ending the trade off between learning and earning by enabling students to work for a few hours at a time, so they can fit work around their studies and social lives.

The duo built the business from scratch, starting with just a small team of students, and today have around 170 staff. Stint involves a huge amount of technology, including a student app, a business app, a web platform, and a host of internal systems. In May 2021, the team expanded into 32 cities across the United Kingdom and have seen a surge of growth in usage since lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions have eased.

 

Jonathan Abraham – Healum

 

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Healum is a UK based digital health company with a mission to improve the health outcomes and quality of life for millions of people. Their digital solutions enable health professionals to motivate, support and manage people with long-term conditions, whether that be remotely or in person.

Anuj and Jonathan (alumni of UCL) founded Healum to help people living with long term health conditions to achieve the health outcomes and experiences that they want. They wanted to support people in taking the daily actions that they need to prevent illness, mitigate their risks and manage their existing health conditions in a way that suits them.

Anuj comes from a family of scientists and business professionals. Most of his academic background focused on artificial intelligence and he became increasingly interested in tracking his own health through data insights. His background drove the development of Healum’s vision to support people in understanding their health. Jonathan wanted to help people achieve their potential of improving their health based on his own personal experience. His passion for health tech stemmed from his background in technological solutions working for Google and technology startups.

Healum’s digital health platform utilises behavioural science and AI to provide its users with the best set of choices to manage their health in a way that works for them. The suite of digital products and patient management software has enabled healthcare professionals to deliver personalised care and support more patients to achieve better health outcomes, such as those with Type 2 diabetes. They have recently been published in the Department of International Trade’s Beyond 100 playbook.

 

If there is someone you would like to add to the list, please email us directly.

 

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