Apprentice star inspires DMU students

By Tony Thiedeman

Solomon%20Akhtar

The youngest ever contestant to appear on hit TV show The Apprentice arrived at De Montfort University today to inspire students and aspiring entrepreneurs who dream of running their own businesses.

Solomon Akhtar is the 23-year-old mastermind behind the popular app Instabear, a photo cloud sharing service that has taken the internet by storm.

He created Instabear, which is now endorsed by popular clothing brand Jack Wills, during his time at Exeter University with the help of his friend and now business partner Tom.

Solomon has also captured an ever-growing fan base after reaching the final five candidates in the latest series of the hit show, The Apprentice, headed by global business juggernaut Lord Sugar.

He was speaking to a jam-packed audience at DMU as part of the university’s Inspiring Creativity & Enterprise (ICE) campaign during Employability week.

Solomon shared his advice and tips to success in the business industry from his experiences.

“Go for it,” he told the DMU students. “Take a risk. Always be willing to change your business plan.

“Always be on the look-out for the next big thing and try and make it organically.

As one of my investors said yesterday, business is like a bucket with a hole -you’ve always got to be filling it with new ideas and innovating. “

He also shared tales from his school days when he encountered his first experience of enterprise.

“I sold sweets and pop on the bus which took all of us to school,” he said. “At 15 I was making £20 a week. But at that age I thought I was a millionaire. Times changed and I transitioned from chocolate and lemonade and went to the internet for business.”

The entrepreneur claimed his best business skill is his ability to market products, manage products and pitch to clients in a commercial field.

He recalled his time on The Apprentice fondly: “It’s weird. Lord Sugar’s all business, not a lot of small talk. But in the final five I got to know him a lot better. I have his email so if I ever need him I can contact him.

“I have become more confident in myself because of The Apprentice, But I am always still learning and I learnt from the experience.”

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