Undergrad proves it pays to start early

The only high notes Gabriel Brown was interested in when he started as a choral scholar at King’s College were those on a musical score.

Now in his final year as a Theology undergraduate, his mind also has to find room for high numbers and balance sheets as he plots his path as a startup entrepreneur. Along with cofounders Morgan Saville and Geno Racklin Asher, he launched CAUSE in 2022, an encrypted social network for activists which offers privacy-focused, targeted advertising.

The catalyst for change came in an email in his first year from the official Entrepreneur in Residence at the King’s E-Lab, open to all continuing students at the College and soon to be offered more widely.

“The first thing that she wanted to see was a business plan. And that scared me a lot, but she guided me through the process,” Gabriel recalls. “She asked the difficult questions and gave advice about how to hone parts of the company.”

The same entrepreneur, Sheryl Cuisia has since become a shareholder in the company and the venture continues to develop at pace in a really thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem within Cambridge.

It’s amazing how quickly we adjust to every milestone once we’ve achieved it

Gabriel Brown

“The exciting thing about the new kind of innovation springing up around us is that it has social purpose at the heart of everything it does, driving equality, diversity and inclusion,” enthuses Gabriel.

“We live in a commercial world and academia needs to respond to the increasing number of challenges that are presented. You need to have academic-led innovation.”

That involves long nights in front of a computer screen, working up new strategies and connections as well ensuring that his degree studies are rigorously honoured and the collegiate setting for the King’s E-Lab remains a key driver in Gabriel’s unusual life as undergraduate and entrepreneur.

“It was really important to feel that these are people that you’d encounter just walking to and from your room every day, that you can go and talk to because those people really are interested in helping you and furthering your ambitions to succeed,” he adds.

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