Teenager builds £1m firm in six months

09 Apr, 2014 - 00:04 0 Views

The Herald

At just 19 years old, Josh Valman has built a global manufacturing company, valued at more than £1 million.
Josh Valman started designing robots when he was just 10 years old.
“I’ve always liked taking things apart. My father was a chemical engineer. When I was two, he found me scribbling all over plant drawings for Shell. I understood pressure systems before I really understood how to read.”

When he was 13, Valman sent his life savings of £500 to China to have his drawings turned into real components.
“They were machined from scratch to my specifications. I built my first robot and haven’t looked back since,” he says.

This was the beginning of Valman’s love affair with engineering. He began working as a freelance consultant for multinational firms when he was 15.
“I would come in from school and take conference calls with China. No one knew how old I was. The work kept coming in and at one point I was earning £10 000 a week,” he recalls.

Now the product designer, still just 19, has just closed a £250 000 seed funding round to value the company at more than £1m, just six months after he launched. The teenager is the boss of RPD International, which allows firms to pay a fixed retainer to access a flexible supply chain, comprising designers, engineers and distributors.
“We can help to make any product. A six-person firm can deliver as much as a 2 000-person company now,” he says.

RPD currently employs 46 staff around the globe, and will turn over seven figures this financial year.
“We’re growing 50 percent month-on-month at the moment,” he said.

Clients include marketing agency Karmarama and Matrix APA, which designs jewellery for high street retailers including Topshop.
“£10 000 of that was secured the day before my A-levels started. I flew to Gibraltar and an investor handed a cheque over. I wrote my coursework on the flight back,” Valman recalls.

The young entrepreneur still enjoys tinkering and works as a junior engineer for RPD International on Sundays.
“I’ll always be fascinated by problem-solving,” he said. – Telegraph.

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