Sam Vaughton, Danny Vaughton, Max Russell, James Parker - alumni profile
As students, Danny, Max and James were no strangers to dirty laundry. Together, with Computer Security student Sam, they cleaned up the issue with their innovative laundry service app, Washbox.
The entrepreneurial friends were united in their view that there is more to life than washing dirty socks!
"We didn’t enjoy spending precious weekends at university hanging clothes, pairing socks and ironing shirts," says James.
The idea for Washbox was sparked by an adventure in Asia: "We were on holiday in Thailand and the laundry services there were quite an eye opener to us. We couldn't quite get over the luxury of handing over dirty laundry in the morning and returning from a day snorkelling to a clean pile of carefully folded clothing," explains Danny.
Ironing out the creases
They pooled their collective experience and skills to develop a super-slick platform. After downloading the Washbox app, users schedule a pick-up and delivery time, hand dirty washing over and get it back cleaned, ironed and folded 24 hours later.
The group, currently based in Bristol, are aiming to turn Washbox into a recognised household brand, with plans to offer their service to households in London and other cities across the UK. Washbox CEO Danny takes the lead in the development of their business model and is currently busy raising funds to help them go ahead with their expansion plans. He explains: "I have always been interested in technology orientated start-ups and running my own business. Talking to high-profile investors and business people has been very exciting and rewarding."
A shared past and joint future
Danny, James and Max all graduated in Business Studies in 2012. They are all agreed that their studies and UWE Bristol laid the foundations for setting up a successful business. Reflecting on this, Danny commented that meeting lifelong friends, knowledgeable staff and future business partners helped kick-start his career. James, head of Marketing and Operations, explains "UWE Bristol helped me to focus on what I wanted to do and what I was best at. I also learnt a wide range of business skills that have helped bring Washbox to fruition".
At the time of writing, Sam, in charge of the technical side of Washbox, is currently in his final year studying Computer Security. Although he has not graduated yet, Washbox is already the second application that he has developed for a new business. "I have put everything that I have learnt into Washbox," says Sam.
He enjoys UWE Bristol’s 'relaxed environment' and feels that the people have made all the difference: "I’ve met some intelligent people who contribute ideas and challenge your own, all these things come together to create great experience".
Max, co-founder of Washbox explains: "UWE Bristol provided me with the skills and information I needed to succeed." After starting Washbox, Max says he learnt to "set goals as high as I could, and then set them higher!" or, as Danny puts it: "Jump off a cliff and assemble an aeroplane on the way down. Don’t wait, just do it!"