secretleaders | From living on benefits to the American dream, with Pipe Co-Founder Harry Hurst

From living on benefits to the American dream, with Pipe Co-Founder Harry Hurst

“I was a young kid with a family on government benefits living off £600 a month. I was surrounded by people that could afford private school. And from a naive child’s perspective, they seemed to have everything that I didn’t have when I went home to my reality. But I think that was the formation of Harry Hurst, the hungry, ambitious, immigrant entrepreneur.”

Today’s Secret Leader, Harry Hurst, has been hustling ever since he was kid – and he’s had to. He credits his poor upbringing for his entrepreneurial spirit – and with two hugely successful startups to his name (Skurt and Pipe), he’s not only someone who’s risked everything – he knows what it takes to build a special company.

With co-founder Josh Mangel, he founded Skurt, an on-demand car rental service, later acquired by in 2014.

They subsequently co-founded Pipe, a trading platform for a new asset class – recurring revenue – in 2019.

“You’ve obviously seen the press announcement how we ended up raising $50 million from all of these strategic [partnerships], it’s Shopify, Slack, HubSpot.”

But it’s not all been plain sailing for Harry. He’s had his back to the wall on many occasions but in 2016 he experienced one of the toughest moments of his life when he was hit with severe anxiety.

From his humble beginnings, to starting and selling Skurt, to founding Pipe, dealing with mental health and the importance of sharing ideas, Harry is open, frank and honest about his crazy journey.

“Don’t hold back on discussing the ideas that you have, if you want to be a founder. It pains me when people say to me, ‘I’ve got this amazing idea, but I can’t talk about it’. I think that’s gonna hold you back.”

Download and listen to this truly fascinating, rags to riches story.

We chat about:

– The origins of Harry Hurst, entrepreneur

– Founding Skurt and Pipe

– Harry the leader at Skurt v Harry the leader at Pipe

– Experiencing anxiety

– Don’t hold back on your ideas




The Secret Leaders podcast features interviews with key figures from the UK tech and creative ecosystem. From entrepreneurs (both early and latter stage), to journalists, VCs - and even royalty - the series profiles those who have helped shape the nation's culture of innovation and growth.

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