Keith Mabbutt (2 September 2015)

After an injury ended his football career, Keith Mabbutt dusted up his CV and began job hunting. His entrepreneurial journey had begun. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after graduating and this single “problem” drove him to set up his own micro online graduate recruitment business in 2002. 7 years later, he sold the business to a multi-million-pound recruitment company.

After this, he decided to finally bring to life a business idea he had sat on for a while – a recruitment platform that allowed for video CVs, called As this had never been done in the UK, Keith had to market aggressively to graduate employers to avoid the Catch 22 problem: employers needed potential recruits, recruits needed potential employers. Eventually, he sold the business and the technology of the site to two different companies. With CVSeeMe, he won a prestigious ‘NORA’ (National Online Recruitment Award) for ‘Best Newcomer’ within 6 months of starting the business, and the business was named as a Top 5 UK job board in 2011.

In 2014, he launched The Grad Factor, similar to The X Factor but for Higher Education entrepreneurs. So rather than people coming up to sing, they pitched their businesses, in the hope of winning seed funding. Most recently he has formed StartUp Factor Limited, which helps any type of entrepreneur, whether a Higher Education student or not. StartUp Factor is the parent group company of The Grad Factor and it is the Grad Factor brand within the group that focuses entirely on helping support students.

One of Keith’s key points was to be objective. Amidst the passion, always ask yourself: Would you buy your service? If not, then do away with it.  He advised everyone to learn from unsuccessful ideas, aim high, and “maKEITHappen”.

Based on a report by Biobele Oyibo