At Pearson College London, we champion entrepreneurship by encouraging our students to not only start their own businesses, but also by having in-house start-ups to aid the students. We sat down with Toby, Founder of Bright/Shift, our resident start-up for the next year.

What is Bright/Shift?

Bright/Shift is a full-service social agency helping purpose-led brands make the most significant impact possible through social media.

What are the aims of the business?

Bright/Shift understands the transformative link that social media has on culture, and are driven to leverage this for good by partnering with the new generation of challenger brand who view societal issues as business opportunities in disguise. Did you know that:

  • 4 hours and 45 minutes per day are spent online;
  • 2 hours and 53 minutes are spent on mobile and social daily?

That is a lot of time that people are spending on social media. If everyone reading this checks the amount of time they are spending on their phone, it will give you a breakdown of how much time you spend on social. The amount of time we spend online has a profound influence on our view on the world.

There are fraudulent agencies and fraudulent people taking advantage of this because it is so easy to do it. For example the Fyre Festival caused a phenomenon and sold out so quickly due to the volume of influencers posting about it on social media.

We want to take advantage of the power that social media has on people across the world and use it for good by working with companies that want to change the world.

What is Bright/Shift’s business model?

Traditional agencies will have a lot of staff in-house and there will be a lot of hard costs associated with that, as well as the reliance on in-house expertise. We don't think that this is a sustainable model and the traditional agency world is crumbling because of that. We build bespoke teams of freelancers, consultants and influencers specifically for our clients - we call them Bright/Shifters.

How long has the business been running for?

Bright/Shift launched in September 2018. However, I have always had a passion for video and started my own video business when I was 13. I was running that through my teens, doing events and weddings and decided not to attend university. I evolved the business into a digital video production studio, working with brands like Canon, Snickers,and Mars. As the business was growing, I could see how social media was being leveraged for better or worse. That’s what inspired Bright/Shift.

Why did you choose to apply for the incubation space at Pearson College London?

I believe that you are a product of the people you surround yourself with most, and the buzzing and vibrant environment at Pearson is what initially attracted me to apply. What really interested me was the fact that I could work and collaborate with like-minded people. Because all of the students here will have grown up with social media, they understand it; but they also have commercial mindsets as this is a business school. The culmination of those two mindsets would be really useful for Bright/Shift; lack of agency experience would actually be an advantage. As long as the students are switched on and willing to grow, I think that I could build a team out of this university.

How do you think you can help the students at Pearson College London?

We can help students by sending out briefs when we are working on a particular project. We could get the students to apply to help us and share their ideas on the project or go into lectures and seminars to set the brief and the brainstorming tasks. We could also give students real life case studies about business and marketing and how it works today to really accelerate learning.

What does the future look like in your eyes for Bright/Shift?

If you were to ask me one year ago what I wanted to do, it would have been to build the biggest business in the world and make as much money as possible and work with the biggest brands in the world. Now, I want to only work with a small pool of clients who passionately believe in us and we passionately believe in them and working with a tight-knit team who know that what they are doing day-to-day is actually having a profound impact on the world. A team of intrapreneurs who have full autonomy in their role and work together not as a business but as a group of people looking to trigger positive change in the world.

I am also setting up a new Podcast called P², which is focused on the alignment of passion and purpose, and the changemakers, innovators and entrepreneurs who are using theirs for good. It is in conjunction with Pearson College London and will explore personal stories, share lessons and empower others to discover and follow their own passion and purpose.

If you’re a current student and want to meet the Founder of Bright/Shift, Toby is located on the first floor. For more information about Pearson College London, visit our website.