Recently i was at the Sparks@LSE 10 were YHP was one of the media partners, I ended up coming half way through the event, definitely one of the best entrepreneurship, university student organised events that i have been to in a long time, packed with amazing speakers with great humour, i was able to catch John bird speak, and he did really make me laugh everytime, i really liked the way he told his story, his journey as an entrepreneur.
They later had a panel Chaired by Christian Busch of sandbox with other great entrepreneurs such as John Pluthero - Executive Chairman of Cable&Wireless Worldwide, Shanker Patel - Managing Director, Lords Group and Danny Rimer -Partner at Index Ventures all giving their preceptives on the age of when an entrepreneur should start a business, if it is really necessary to go college/university to become a succesful entrepreneur which brought a lot of conversation, interaction and opinions from the panel.
At the end of the event, I ended up meeting an aspiring entrepreneur that is already raising some eyebrows in the industry, we spoke briefly and ended up exchanging business cards and decided to meet up for an interview.
This is what we chatted about, Hope you like it.
Artur Majsterek is the co-founder of 1eat - 1eat is a service that offers discounts in hundreds of restaurants across London.
Hi Arthur, Great to finally have you here on YHP, how are you doing?
Nice to meet you Joseph, yeah Im all good, very excited to be here too, plus there are so many things going on I just can't sit still.
Can you quickly give us some background information about yourself?
I was born in Poland, moved to King Edwards School on a Science and Maths Scholarship where I tried to start my first big venture at 16 which was supposed to find employment for all the poles wanting to work in UK in the catering business (just before 2004 entrance to EU) that failed and put me off doing another start up.
After my IB I tried out banking a little with an internship at Citi. The internship was awesome, I met great people, earned my first paycheck. At university (Warwick) I was shocked how everyone was so into banking, it was crazy, but amusing. So my intuition was telling me: if everyone is so excited about it, it cannot be the right thing for me.
I therefore tried to set up with Jochen a speed dating agency. That 'broke even' on the first event (leaving us with a year’s supply of soft drinks) but was not something that floated our boats. The second thing at university was online food delivery which Max proposed to do together.
Trying to agree on the name was one of the hardest things on the planet, we then settled on fudel (as for food delivery) and then re-named to studel (as student delivery) I cannot remember which one was first, its not important any more.
This was great fun, we tried to built the website for years (1 year) by getting a student from Poland first, who failed and then a company which disappointed us indeed. That lost me some first money in a business venture. Since then a lot of brainstorming with friends and http://1eat.co.uk got created with the co-founding team: Maria, Avgoustinos, Alex and Adrian they are legends!
How did you initially get involved in entrepreneurship, was it something you grew up around or was it influenced through your family?
Its fun, I grew up with it and I still have a long way to go, but I m loving the journey.
At what age did you start your first business, what inspired you to start?
Its difficult to say what was a ‘real’ business. I guess 16 with the employment agency.
You’ve visited 42 countries so far? Was it something you had in mind when you started on your travelling journey? Do you have a target of the number of countries you are gunning for?
hahah, yeah I want to visit 100 countries, but then many people say its not about the number of countries, its about the experience you get from them. I agree with that also, but I love challenges, competitions and quantification. Hence so far 100 is the target, of course i want to see all of them before I die.
WHY did you create 1eat?
Food is a huge part of every student’s budget, it is also a wonderful hobby. Unfortunately one will find that London is extremly expensive, especially when you want to dine out at the fancy (or semi fancy) restaurants.
Hence the need for some sort of mechanism which would allow people (that includes students) to save their cash at the restaurants they normally eat and at those fancy places which they always wanted to try but never could quite afford.
Explain to me what 1eat is about? What is your role in the business?
1eat is about enjoying food at new places and saving whilst doing so. The concept is wonderful, at the cheap price which we set for the membership one can save just within 1 meal with friends, its a great social tool as well.
I dont know whats my role, I guess CEO, but I dont feel like one, maybe COO. What are these titles for anyways? We are just a start up, hence we get on with what we have to do, it doesnt matter, since we all to a bit of everything and no one cares what titles we carry.
You’re only just 21 and it seems like you’ve been around for a long time? You have in the process of completing your degree at management at the LSE, interned at citigroup? How are the journey been so far?
Yeah, it’s a lot of fun, I would like more great people to join me so that we can grow faster and have even more fun by affecting the way the world ticks. What we are doing now, might seem small on the global scale, but its a construction of a platform to launch ideas.
It looks like you’ve been busy in the last 3 years attending 3 different universities?
I can see you have been analysing my facebook profile.
Haha. I am very detailed with my research on everyone i interviewed
Haha, yeah! I went to Warwick for 1 year doing economics then did a summer programme in International Business at Harvard and moved to LSE.
I know you’re involved in a lot of other projects, can you tell me what else you’re involved in?
Last year I ran the LSE Entrepreneurs society, we went to Turkey, Switzerland, had an event every week, gave seven thousand pounds in prizes and did a lot more great stuff for entrepreneurship growth at LSE.
International Studies Conference was something me and my brother Adrian started 4 years ago to help kids from Poland in choosing their universities. This was set up so that they can consciously pick theirunis and gain some valuable insights concerning their application. It’s great when we get thank you letters from those whose future has changed because of what we have started.
It now runs by ‘itself’ last year Kacper Trela was the coordinator and this year its Sijana Mamos. With Jochen Hermanns and Maria Olenina we have organized a lot of Artur voyages (http://arturvoyage.com) around the world, but thats a whole story in itself. I am also involved in the Sandbox network, which is awesome!
As an entrepreneur, how would you define success?
What would you say has been some of the most valuable lessons that you’ve learnt so far that has enabled you to succeed as an entrepreneur?
I have a long way to go to succeed, I think that question would be better addressed to Branson or Jobs or Zuckerberg.
You were the former president of the LSE entrepreneur society? How was your experience running that and what opportunities did it bring you?
It was great, if I could it would stay as my life job, ahaha, no I’m joking of course, one has to move on from student societies and give others the opportunity to get heavily involved.
Definitely being the president is the best position one can attain, as learning occurs when one is responsible and being the leader if anything goes wrong its the head that has to go. To all the readers, i would recommend trying to be president in whatever you love doing.
What has been your most memorable moment so far?
Joseph Ajilore asking me for an interview for YHP.
What would you say has been the hardest part of starting a business?
Finding the right people
Tell us about some of the failures you’ve experienced so far and how you’ve dealt with it?
I don’t think my failures are significant enought to interest anyone, but for those minor stumbles i encounter hmmm, i guess it depends on the situation but in all of them its thanks to my friends and family who are always supporting and encouraging.
What keeps you going, you know, your motivation and strength to keep going?
Having fun all the way, as soon as it stops being fun I become worried. On the more serious note, its creation that gives me a motivational kick, keeps me going and nothing is created until its compelete.
What would you say has been the most valuable lesson learnt so far?
People are so important, they make up the world.
What changes or new developments should we be expecting from you at 1eat?
Changing the world. haha, that in the long run, in the near future we are working on an iphone app and possibly a new way of payment in restaurants which hopefully will revolutionize the way people pay. I'm very excited about that!
So apart from starting/running different start-ups, what do you do for fun?
Everything I do is fun.
What tips do you have for other young entrepreneurs looking to start a business?
Do yesterday what you wanted to do tomorrow.
Thanks for your time Artur.
Thank you for inviting me and joining 1eat.