This month, we met Rashid Ajami, CEO of Campus Society; a worldwide platform bringing together students from every corner of the globe.
What’s the elevator pitch?
Campus Society is the world’s only collaboration, networking, and media platform, specifically designed to globalise knowledge from the 200 million strong global student population.
Why we should keep an eye on it
We launched in July 2016 and now have more than 250,000 users, expanding rapidly in the UK market. Our vision encompasses a strong strategy to continue international growth, further develop our product, and realise our goal of bringing all the world’s students into one place.
This includes key partnerships with heavyweight players in the forefront of education in the UK, including the likes of What Uni/Hot Courses, UCAS, Milkround, and many more.
Our USP of bringing students together from around the world, united by interests rather than profiles, provides us with a niche in the market - allowing us to lay our own path and differentiate ourselves.
The story and the people behind the startup
I founded Campus Society in 2014 after finishing university in America. Studying abroad was a daunting experience having spent all my life in the UK, and I wondered how I would connect with people.
I realised there wasn’t a platform for students to easily engage with each other beyond the very broad social networks. What sparked the idea for Campus Society was my desire to connect with other students with similar interests.
None of this could have happened without a key member of the management team, Feroze Rub – Chief Technology Officer. Feroze is the main architect of the platform’s web, mobile, and back-end software and infrastructure stack. He’s also a successful coder and entrepreneur, having developed London’s first bike sharing program (acquired by VeoliaTransdev), as well as previously holding senior roles at IBM, PWC, and Mars.
Since launching, we’ve built a team of 34 people and are looking to grow further still.
Have you managed to get funding? How?
We have had some great strategic investors that believe in our idea as much as we do. We started our funding close to home with friends and family, but that’s now organically branched out.
For investors, the really interesting bit comes through monetising our platform, whether that’s creating a route for enterprises and universities to tap into a vast global pool of talent to solve real-life problems and generate new ideas, working with certain organisations or high value advertisers to have their own channel, or offering powerful recruitment tools for employers which also benefit students.
What happens next? What’s the long-term ambition?
As a modern, interactive forum connecting college students with common social and academic interests, we want to focus on becoming ‘the’ UK student community.
Our ambitions are global and we have plans to grow in the US and India through acquisition and partnership, plus consistently building new tech including virtual reality, job recruitment features, online marketplaces, and mentorship opportunities.
Our ongoing aim is to consistently add value to students. We hope to become the largest student platform in the world through development of our product, sharing valuable content, and ensuring quality networking for our users.
StartUp Spotlight is a monthly column where LSBF speaks with the leaders of young start-ups and businesses to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.
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