Kersey: University student sets up social network business to help writers and artists

Harry Hanlon, founder and managing director of Exhibtr Ltd

Harry Hanlon, founder and managing director of Exhibtr Ltd - Credit: Archant

A teenager has set up his own social network business giving a platform to artists, photographers and writers.

Harry Hanlon, founder and managing director of Exhibtr Ltd

Harry Hanlon, founder and managing director of Exhibtr Ltd - Credit: Archant

Harry Hanlon, 19, of Kersey, is the founder and managing director of Exhibtr Ltd, and when he isn’t running his business he studies English literature at Cardiff University.

His business enables creative talent the opportunity to exhibit their work on a global platform and receive critical feedback, free of charge, he says.

“Our mission is to revolutionise the way in which all forms of art are shared online. We aim to help established artists exhibit their work to an ever-growing attentive audience, and expose fresh talent to the masses,” he explains.

As with traditional social networks, exhibtr allows users to create and personalise a profile page, but it pioneers a new system of displaying posts, which has been designed to be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.


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“Many artists, writers and photographers I spoke to complained at having nowhere specifically designed to share these forms of media. Many sites offer services to each area of expertise, yet nothing offers Exhibtr’s level of integration. Exhibtr.com has been designed by creative people, for creative people,” he says.

The site allows the majority of regular users to showcase their work for free up to a limit of 100MB every month which equates to approximately 50 new images, whilst professionals, businesses and those requiring unlimited capacity can pay £2 per month to become premium account holders.

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The site had its official public launch on April 30, and has already attracted the attention of several international companies such as Olympus requesting use of the site for advertising campaigns and marketing programs.

“The site has now launched and is generating a lot of interest internationally,” says Harry, who attended Ipswich School and played rugby for Sudbury RUFC and Hadleigh RUFC, and now blogs for the Huffington Post. “Olympus have created the ‘Olympus Image Space’ and use the site to promote the work of their resident photographers. We are also working closely with several galleries, including Eyestorm Design based in Suffolk, who exhibit work from artists such as Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Sir Peter Blake.

“In terms of numbers, we are predicting to be hitting 100,000 page views per week within the next month.”

Lloyds TSB provided him with banking services and Haines Watts act as his accountants. Technical and design work has been undertaken by Suffolk-based web designers Fraser Jilani Ltd.

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