Student-Founded Gen Z and Millennial Marketing Research Company Is Acquired

FEBRUARY 13, Cambridge, MA: Campus Insights, an emerging leader in marketing research for the 14 - 35 year-old demographic, was acquired today by Harvard Student Agencies (HSA), the largest student-run company in the world. Used by brands such as Airbnb, Venmo, and GoFundMe, Campus Insights helps companies understand what Gen Z and Millennials candidly think about products and brands by conducting remote interviews and focus groups around the world.

“We started Campus Insights because we knew high school students, college students, and recent grads would be most comfortable and candid when being interviewed by a researcher in their age group,” said Riley Soward, co-founder and CEO of Campus Insights. “Harvard Student Agencies provides a long-term solution for sustainably scaling Campus Insights while continuing to have student moderators who are the most in touch with the demographics they’re researching. By employing the top students at Harvard and leveraging HSA’s international network, we can better help companies cater to 14-to-35 year-olds globally.”

In 2014, at the age of 18, Riley Soward co-founded Campus Insights with his older brother Stephen Soward. The tech entrepreneur brothers, who were born and raised in Silicon Valley, saw conducting user interviews as a way to amplify their passion for sharing feedback on apps and websites. They bought two video cameras on Craigslist and went around college campuses filming students’ reactions to various products. The brothers’ research quickly gained the attention of startups, as it helped companies increase onboarding conversions and retention rates, and improve their brand messaging and differentiation compared to competitors. Over time, they grew their team to six student researchers from Boston College, University of Michigan, and Cornell University.

Harvard Student Agencies plans to continue rapidly scaling Campus Insights, which has experienced 100% year-over-year revenue growth over the past three years.

"We were drawn to Campus Insights' unique research method for capturing genuinely honest feedback from consumers and to the amount of inbound interest they receive for their services,” said Ali Dastjerdi, President of HSA. "Under HSA, we’re looking forward to growing Campus Insights using HSA’s expanded reach and pursuing synergies with DEV, HSA’s software engineering arm."

Over the past six months, HSA and Campus Insights have worked closely together to transition the business under Harvard Student Agencies. Moving forward, Harvard student James Swingos will take over as CEO, while Riley and Stephen will stay actively involved as advisors.

For more information, or to request an interview with company leaders, please email or call 650.308.8212.


About Campus Insights: Campus Insights specializes in in-person and remote marketing research interviews with Gen Z and Millennial individuals around the world. Campus Insights has helped marketing, design, and product teams at companies like Airbnb, Chegg, GoFundMe, Venmo, and Fortune 50 companies better understand and empathize with their target demographic.

About Harvard Student Agencies: Founded in 1957, Harvard Student Agencies is the largest student-run company in the world. HSA is home to sixteen agencies, including HSA Dev, a web and app development company; Campus Insights, a Gen Z and Millennial marketing research firm; and HSA marketing, a college-focused marketing agency.


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