24 year old entrepreneur sells 'bedroom startup' to UK education giant
A 24 year-old first-time entrepreneur who built a mobile app company from his bedroom has had the business acquired by UCAS, the UK’s university admissions service.
What is more remarkable is that the young businessman hasn’t met a single person on his team, nor the buyer, and that the company was built entirely online and sold during the pandemic lockdown.
When most of his friends left for university after school, Myles Jardine turned down his university offers because he was concerned about graduating with a £60,000 student loan debt. Unable to pursue his university ambitions and realising that other young people might find themselves in a similar position, Myles set about finding a solution and hit upon the idea of building an app to make scholarships more accessible for disadvantaged students and for those from low-income backgrounds. He christened his idea GrantFairy.
The idea of 'free money' was an instant hit with UK high-school and college students, and that initial success spurred the first-time entrepreneur to expand the service to create a centralised hub of student-based services before it finally caught the eye of UCAS, the UK’s admissions service. The newly-acquired system (now re-branded as MO University Assistant), will be launched early next year as UCAS’s flagship international student recruitment platform.
Aaron Powell, Chief Digital and Data Officer at UCAS, who will act as Managing Director for MO in the UCAS Group, commented: “MO is a game-changer. We are especially excited about the value MO will provide for in-country agents and advisers.”
Myles Jardine added: “The UCAS brand is trusted by students, advisers and agents across the world, and with their expertise and connections across higher education, we believe MO can quickly establish itself as the one-stop, end-to-end, marketing, recruitment, and application platform that will fully support students in their journey to UK higher education. We are particularly excited by this acquisition by UCAS, as it is an organisation that has the same focus and passion for students that we have.”
Regarding his startup journey, Myles commented: “Starting out as a young entrepreneur can be daunting and I am very fortunate that my first venture has been so successful: it is no secret that the majority of startups fail, and that more than half go out of business in the first three years. That said, whilst starting a business is certainly not for the faint-hearted, there is nothing more rewarding than achieving your ambitions and building your own success.”
Since news of the UCAS acquisition broke Myles has been contacted by dozens of other young entrepreneurs who are also hungry for success, and he is now working with a number of early-stage founders to help them achieve their goals.
“With so many talented young people and such a wealth of opportunities, it is truly an exciting time to be an entrepreneur. There is no better time to take the plunge, to roll up your sleeves and to get stuck in.”