Food for thought: how one young entrepreneur turned a drunken idea into a tasty business

While recent graduates everywhere are busy panicking about their lack of job opportunities, 24-year-old Josh Magidson is feeling pretty smug. After all, Londoner Josh has just sold the website he set up at university to the e-commerce giant Just Eat for £500,000.

The website,, allows students to view local takeaway menus and order food to be delivered straight to their halls of residence.

And now, instead of working from his bedroom at home, Josh works in the swanky Just Eat headquarters in Farringdon, London, and Eatstudent has a presence at eight universities across the UK. He was unwilling to reveal his new salary, but he's obviously doing alright: “I’m doing much better than I expected to be doing at my age. That’s all I’m willing to say. I don’t want to go out to dinner with my friends and be expected to pay for everyone...”

It all started in 2006, at the end of Josh’s first year at uni, after a messy night out in Nottingham, where he was studying English. “Some friends and I were desperate for a pizza, but we couldn’t find menus or phone numbers anywhere.” In the end they went hungry, but it got Josh thinking. “I just couldn’t believe there was nowhere on the internet that had all this information.”

Josh paid a friend £50 to set up a simple website and, with a small team of fellow students, persuaded all his local takeaways to sign up. “When we launched it, we didn’t have to spend any money on marketing; we just relied on word of mouth.”

Like Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook, Josh benefited from the way news spreads within the student community. Indeed, he even admits that Zuckerberg was one of his inspirations. “When I came arrived at university Facebook was just starting up. Obviously, I’m no Zuckerberg, but I was certainly influenced by his story.”

Unlike the Facebook founder, Josh did not drop out of university. “The website was always a side project while we were studying, earning us about £200 per week,” Josh says. “We would spend a few weeks at the beginning of each term setting it up and making sure it was all running OK.”

When he graduated, however, it was a different matter. “The job market was so bad that I decided to take on the project full time.” Josh recruited Edward Green, a friend from school who had just finished a History degree at Cambridge University. They both invested £4,000 each of private money to improve the website before they started approaching big companies for investment. “We had proof of concept and the business was growing. We just needed some serious money to take it to the next level.”

In July this year the universities minister David Willetts caused mild controversy by suggesting that if graduates couldn’t find a job they should start their own businesses. “We have some odd definitions of what constitutes a graduate job,” said Willets. “The most vivid example of that is that setting up your own business does not constitute a graduate job.” Josh agrees. “Most people go back and live at home when they leave university. They don’t have a mortgage and they don’t have a family. It’s the best time to start a business.” He is also well aware of the risks: “I obviously wouldn’t recommend that people plough a lot of money into it, but even if the venture isn’t a success after a year or two, you have great experience that could help you get a job.”

For Josh this is only the beginning. “We’re looking to grow the business 100 per cent every month,” he says. “The key is to spread to new universities.” Next up are Bristol, Sheffield, Warwick and Liverpool in January and within the next two years he wants Eatstudent to be in every university in the country. It doesn’t stop there. “My ambition is to take it not just national but international. There are some great university cultures outside the UK.” So, watch out. Eatstudent could be coming to a university near you, and just as Zuckerberg noted the student population’s capacity for endless socialising, Josh Magidson knows not to underestimate student demand for fast food.

Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer was final surviving member of seminal punk band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Yaya Touré has defended his posturing over his future at Manchester City
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
Life and Style
There were mass celebrations across Argentina as the country's national team reached their first World Cup final for 24 years
transfersOne of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16 years old
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows, Network Security)

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...

First Class Graduate (Computer Science, Economics, Finance)

£23000 per annum: Harrington Starr: First Class Graduate (Computer Science, Ec...

Drama Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Liverpool: We are looking for someone who can t...

Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice