What’s Driving the Youngest Ever BBC Dragon’s Den Investor, Steven Bartlett?
From Manchester University Dropout to multimillionaire, we profile the rise of the newest Dragon and 29-year-old founder of now $600m-valued digital media agency Social Chain, Steven Bartlett. He is also commonly now know as the top ranking host of ‘The Diary Of A CEO’ podcast, or simply @Steven.
Steven Bartlett’s journey to becoming an influential multi-millionaire investor began with observations of his parents’ disintegrating marriage and unyielding business ventures. In his revealing autobiography, ‘Happy Sexy Millionaire’, he recalls a time when he jammed his hand down the back of a dirty restaurant sofa to find change for his next meal. He was hungry and he had no other way of finding money. But, it was a worthwhile venture.
While failing his degree course at Manchester University, he formed the seeds for what is now $700m valued digital media agency Social Chain. Years later, he surprised everyone by selling up and resigning from his position as CEO. Instead, the young disruptive entrepreneur started busying himself making shrewd investments in companies like popular meal replacement service Huel. More recently, he co-founded innovative Web3 platform Thirdweb, as well as co-founding retail investment platform Flight Story. His success is seen in his higher and higher reaching collaborations.
In Steven’s spare time, he’s busy inspiring the next generation of online startups with his popular social media content. His posts contain short inspirational quotes, subtitled podcast video excerpts and the occasional piece of promotional content for new ventures, such as his co-founded Three Sixty health community. At the time of writing, Steven’s Instagram profile (@Steven) currently boasts a huge 1.6m followers from just 1,531 posts, to CBE Peter Jones’ (@PeterJonesCBE) 111k. His most recent likes and comments feature regular praise and admiration from the rich and famous — rapper Professor Green, Business Hack author John Lee and TV personality Laura Whitmore, to name a few.
Now, as the newest addition to the latest series of BBC’s infamous Dragon’s Den series, he stands out as a voice for the younger connected generation. He is unafraid to speak his own mind and regularly goes in for a bloody kill. To the surprise of his more established fellow Dragons, a slew of desirable digital startups have targeted Steven for his digital prowess over the more senior business tycoons. This has finally livened up the long-established programme’s content and ruffled the incumbents’ feathers. One such memorable moment was his £50,000 investment in grass puppy pad supplier Piddle Patch, for which he negotiated a 20% stake. Deborah Meaden said: “That is seriously a little tray with a bit of grass in it.”
This intentionally stand-out approach means that Steven’s popular Spotify and iTunes business podcast ‘The Diary Of A CEO’ has subsequently further climbed the podcast charts. At one point the CEO podcast recently beat ‘The Joe Rogan Podcast’ to the Spotify top spot. The series exclusively features in-depth discussions between Steven and everyone from business leaders (such as GymShark founder Ben Francis), to infamous coaches (like former Performance Director of British Cycling Sir David Brailsford), through to notorious comedian TV present Jimmy Carr. Steven regularly introduces his established guests as the people who he admires and inspire him everyday.
One particularly memorable episode featured stand-out former Love Island star and multi-millionaire social media influencer Molly-Mae Hague. She was invited to speak with Steven following her gainful appointment as Pretty Little Things’ Creative Director. The conversation provoked a media furore following what were considered by many to be controversial remarks around wealth. “I understand that we all have different backgrounds and we’re all raised in different ways and we do have different financial situations, but I do think if you want something enough, you can achieve it,” she said.
From those humble beginnings as a lone failing student in an unkept University house share, Steven has worked his way up. Through his on-the-pulse ongoing collaborations, he has himself become a hero for the digital entrepreneur dream. So seems that Molly-Mae’s beliefs on the topic of aspirating to higher things ring true for him at least. He has now established himself in the top spot as a businessman, investor, author, speaker and TV personality. But with buy-in from the public, the press and the famous, it seems that he is now the happy sexy millionaire he once dreamt of becoming. The question now for Steven is, where do you go from being number one?
By Vicky McNaught-Davis, founder of KinaestheticCopy.com.
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