Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Climbing the ranks with James Uffindell, Founder & CEO at Bright Network


This month, Recruitment Grapevine charts the career journey of
James Uffindell, Founder & CEO of Bright Network



1997 – 2000

Philosophy, Politics and Economics



2004 – 2007



A friend and I started Pure Potential as a social enterprise to help students from low-income families apply to university. It was an amazing project that was backed by leading Blue Chips and has now helped more than one million students apply to university.



Travelling is a passion and I try to travel as much as I can. I’ve been to about 40+ countries from the likes of Mongolia to Brazil, Botswana to Mexico. 



1999 – 2013

Founder & CEO


I started Oxbridge Applications in my last year at university from my student bedroom. I was 20 and had no idea what do to do with my life. I learnt a lot in a short space of time – the importance of being hyper-focused on your customers, how finding great people for your team is critical and the importance of hustle and hard work. I exited the business for a seven-figure sum in 2013.



2012 – Present

Private Investor


Having sold my first business I started investing in other early-stage businesses – to support them with capital, but more importantly to share what I had learnt from starting my first business from scratch, building it and selling it. Being an investor makes me a better an entrepreneur as I look at my own business more critically to make sure we’re always at the top of our game.



As an industry, we have a unique ability and moral obligation to help people fulfil their potential so that they can fulfil their ambitions and dreams.  



2013 – Present

CEO & Founder


I didn’t come from a well-connected family; my mum was a secretary and my dad was a shepherd. Having sold my first business, it was clear that entry-level recruitment was based far too much on family connections and it was a broken market - I wanted to fix the problem so that candidates and employers could connect more efficiently and fairly.