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News > OA News > From Abberley to Tech Entrepreneurs

From Abberley to Tech Entrepreneurs

Cofounders of the app Syncify, Jack Hughes and Sam Harris OAs (04) are launching a new app that has been accepted onto the competitive Techstars programme.
14 Sep 2020
OA News
Syncify App being developed by two OAs
Syncify App being developed by two OAs
Jack Hughes OA (04) and Sam Harris OA (04).

Sam and Jack became friends at Abberley in 2000 and have remained great friends ever since. Jack kindly sent through some sports team pictures which include them both at Abberley. Sam and Jack are both huge outdoor enthusiasts, which they put down to their outdoor orientated education at Abberley. Jack  has recently completed an Ultra Marathon and Sam, after shattering his femur in October 2019 (yes, he did send a link to the x-ray!) and being told he would not be able to do much walking as a result, actually defied the medics and this Summer climbed Zugspitze (Germany’s highest mountain 2962m), Wildspitze (highest mountain in the Eastern alps 3770m) and the infamous Matterhorn (the 5th most dangerous mountain in the world, 4478m). 

Sam and Jack both went into the tech industry. Sam was very entrepreneurial from the outset, working in tech and building his own apps. He was Bristol university’s entrepreneur in residence and sold his first company a year later - a very early version of Deliveroo called Pedal Power. Jack started in a marketing role with a very fast growing health and fitness app, leading the growth and marketing, he then moved to another tech company - both are now multi million pound companies (he added that he did not see a penny of this huge growth!). 

Jack says ‘Sam and I have always stayed in touch and when he had this idea for the Syncify app, he really wanted to start it with someone who he trusted and could run the non-technical side of things, that was me! I became a cofounder and together we managed to get Syncify into Techstars, it was pretty rigorous in terms of interviews, but we made it! This year about 0.56% of applications were successful’. For the uninitiated, Techstars is a programme that connects Tech startups to a team of successful mentors and partners across the world, whose expertise helps entrepreneurs move from an innovative idea to a thriving business.

We wish Jack and Sam every success with their new app which will allow people to listen to podcasts and audiobooks with friends. It feels as though they couldn’t have timed their app better as with the Covid lockdown people are turning to technical solutions to connect with people that they can no longer be with. The Syncify app is still being built but people can sign up on the waiting list on the website or follow Sam and Jack’s progress on Facebook.

Sam and Jack are happy to hear from any alumni who are looking to build their own business, or those who are looking at investing in new technologies like theirs.

As if starting a new business wasn’t enough, this year Sam has set himself a number of challenges to break out of his comfort zone and has done this by headlining his first stand-up comedy show at the Soho Comedy pub and delivering his first Tedx talk.

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