University is a unique time in your life. Students arrive on campus armed with idealism, creativity and ambition. They’re not shackled by the responsibilities of a full-time career. They’re constantly challenged to change the way they think and reevaluate what they believe to be true. 

It’s an ideal environment for budding entrepreneurs. 

My message to students is simple. Make the most of the opportunities that surround you. By doing so, you could turn an idea into the next billion-dollar unicorn. 

Creating Stint, the student work app, with my brother while we were at university was the best decision I have ever made. I encourage other students to take the leap of faith for three simple reasons: time, the ability to test their product, and the talent available on their doorstep. 


The most valuable asset that students have is time. Most adults who start a business do so alongside their day job. They’re only able to dedicate a few hours here or there to their ideas. 

In comparison, most students are blessed with time: time between lectures, time between terms and time between academic years.

Students should use this time to learn about more than just their subject. Research is the cornerstone of starting a business. They’ve got the opportunity to dream up and research solutions to the problems around them.   

Whilst at university, my brother and I realised we wanted to build a business where students could make some quick cash around their studies and social lives. We could see first-hand the negative impact part-time work was having on students as they tried to balance full-time education and longer shifts. So we set out researching how we could solve this problem. 

Identifying and supporting the next generation of tech entrepreneurs

My brother Sam walked into over 1,000 businesses in a one-mile radius around our university. He spoke to business owners about the challenges they faced with staffing – all under the guise of doing research for a dissertation. When Sam shared his research, we realised that hospitality businesses have an inherent problem with staffing and students are uniquely positioned to solve this problem.

Stint was born. The idea was simple – create an app which enables students to work flexibly around their studies and earn money when they please, and allows hospitality businesses to get their staffing right by taking on students for short shifts of basic work at peak times.

Consumer testing 

Now we had an idea, we had to bring it life. And this is the next advantage university students have: a natural testing base. 

Most students are based in towns and city centres across the country. This means thousands of diverse users who are willing to test their product right on their doorstep. Student entrepreneurs can make the most of this environment, easily finding people to test their product or service. They can use this honest feedback, learn from it, and keep improving their offering until it’s right. 

After going through this process of research and testing, student entrepreneurs graduate with an idea that’s been validated  and is ready to take to market. After our own research and testing, we launched Stint in June 2018, the day after I finished my final year exams. 

A pool of talent  

To build a start-up from scratch, you need the best talent you can find from a range of disciplines. And at university you find no shortage of talent. If you need a data scientist, a marketing wiz or sales person, the chances are you’ve got a friend or a friend of a friend who is fit for the job. The people you’ve met over your university days are going to go on to do great things. Why not have them do great things at your company? 

We wouldn’t have been able to launch Stint if we didn’t have the time, the ability to test our product or the pool of talent that we had at university. Without these factors, we wouldn’t be the company we are today which has enabled 75,000 students in over 32 towns and cities across the UK to earn money in a way that truly fits in with their university lives. 

I often receive emails from students looking for advice. I tell them that now is the time to take on your wild idea and make it a reality. 

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