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Unifying the student market, powering campus economies

At native, our mission is to power campus culture. We do this by powering campus economies on a local level, connecting students with brands by way of Students’ Unions. Via the 75+ Students’ Unions who exclusively use native, we have created unrivalled reach into the UK youth market.

Trusted by UK-leading brands, agencies and Students’ Unions

A LOOK BACK IN TIME

Our story

In the Summer of 2015, while enjoying their summer break from studying at Sussex University, our founders Nick and Dean found themselves asking the same questions, repeatedly. “What student events are happening in Brighton?”, “How can we find out what’s on tonight?” On learning that this was a shared frustration for students across the UK, they set out to create a single automated marketplace for on-campus experiences. native was born. 

 

Since then, we’ve continued to unify the fragmented student market, releasing revenue to improve the student experience. Because we believe every student deserves to feel part of an engaging campus culture. 

The native team pose for a group photo
Nick Musto on Facebook
Nick Musto
Sussex Uni, what's going on tonight?!
Sussex University Building
Students party on campus

2013

Nick starts a new chapter of his life at University. Worried about the challenges surrounding making new friends, and struggling to navigate hundreds of events across multiple platforms, Nick has a brainwave

2014

To bring his idea to life, Nick enters a uni startup competition… and wins! Armed with £2,500, Nick starts drafting the master plans for native 1.0 from his bedroom. 

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Nick Musto on Facebook
Nick Musto
Best get to work... it's about to get a whole lot easier to navigate the Sussex events scene!
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Dean Altass-Hye
Dean Altass-Hye
We're going live; East Slope, 2nd Feb. Get a free drink at the bar when you use the App!

2016

native 1.0 launches, and student events are centralised! Securing further investment enables Nick to work on native full time after graduation. Shortly after, disaster strikes! The threat of being sued by a retail tycoon forces Nick to rebrand to native. 

2019

native as we know it today is born. After realising the problem we’re trying to solve is much bigger than event discovery, we pivot to begin unifying the fragmented student market. After getting conned by a fake investor, Nick successfully raises a seed round to fund the new business.

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Nick Musto on Facebook
Nick Musto
We're re-branding! Suggestions for a new name are all welcome, there will be prizes!
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With the new rules on working from home, our Unionverse platform is here to help Students' Unions stay connected to their students.

2020

In March, Covid hits. Another curve ball, but we bounce back and pivot to enable student engagement in the virtual world. The outcome is a HUGE program of virtual content that 40+ universities across the UK tap into. 

2021

Freshers is back… kind of. With a hybrid return to campus, a new team at native are on hand to help Students’ Unions welcome new and returning students with a bang. Our first media partnerships are formed, and we connect brands with students via SU media! 

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We are so excited to be partnering with #SU21Digital for their SU networking event, bringing the community back together!
Nick, Founder and CEO of native smiles with Sussex Uni peers
The native team sponsor YMS, where the world of youth marketing meet.
Nick Musto CEO

2022

Fast forward to the present day. We have over 70 employees and 75+ SU partners. By streamlining the student advertising landscape, we’ve removed the friction for great content to enter campus and have 100+ brand partners on our roster. We’ve hit a student reach of 1.6M and ultimately, it’s these students who benefit from a better university experience! 

STATS

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Students’ Union partners
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The native network

As we help Students’ Unions and Advertisers reach their goals today, we’re investing in our teams, platforms and services, to continue to be able to support our partners’ needs tomorrow. Meet the businesses powered by native: 
GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Our values

We are agile

We collaborate and seek continual improvement whilst being both flexible and adaptable. The customer is at the heart of everything we do, always. 

 

We innovate

We take disruptive, curious and creative solutions to market, to help overcome the challenges faced by our customers. 

 

We genuinely care

We believe in giving back to the community through technology and will always champion successful solutions that improve students’ lives. 

 

We are inclusive

We actively seek diversity of thought and champion differences of opinion. We are always authentic in our delivery. 

We are passionate - Jack Wilkinson, Director of Events presents at a team away day
Phone mock up - powering campus culture

Join the native family

Do you align with our mission and identify with our values? We’re always looking to meet with talented individuals who are passionate about youth culture, and seeking a challenge.