24th October: Charlie Vaughan - Lee

This week Elliot Moss is joined by Charlie Vaughan-Lee.

Charlie Vaughan-Lee is CEO of property investment company, Student Cribs, founded in 2002 whilst he was studying Chemistry at Bristol. Charlie has worked alongside Charlie Philip in developing the business over the past five years, including the successful launch of the first Student Crib Fund. Student Cribs was launched back when Charlie was part of his own target market, as a reaction to a situation he experienced first-hand when being deemed an ‘unattractive candidate' by agents of landlords.

Fuelled by frustration and convinced the provision of luxury touches and investment in interior design would encourage better treatment of the spaces, Vaughan-Lee developed the concept of Student Cribs. Between 2003 and 2006 Charlie bought and successfully renovated houses in Bristol and Leeds on behalf of investors. By 2010 the group raised £11m in its first investment fund enabling the company to buy 29 houses in eight cities across the UK before raising £34m in their second fund in 2012.

As one of property's fast-growing disruptors, young, ambitious start-ups with fresh ideas and niche development strategies, Vaughan-Lee has ambitious plans. Now looking to raise fund three and continuing to expand the business, Vaughan-Lee is set to make Student Cribs the biggest provider of second and third year bed spaces in the student accommodation market by 2017.

Charlie's other entrepreneurial success is London Bio Packaging, the UKs largest supplier of environmentally friendly food packaging. As a founder director Charlie was responsible for the top line growing annual turnover of £100k in 2006 to over £8m by 2012. Winning the exclusive contract to supply the Olympic Games with over 250m items of food packaging before selling the business to the FTSE giant Bunzl was a significant highlight. Charlie is well known in the quiet streets surrounding the office for his very loud motorbike and is passionate about skiing adventures to remote locations.