A new competition launches today, February 1, to help develop the UK’s food start ups and entrepreneurs – and for the winning business, there’s a £100,000 prize.
Time was, if you had a great food business idea you needed huge sums of money to get going and your only way to get to market was dealing supermarkets. Nowadays, if you think you make the world’s best brownies or burgers, you can get a pitch or truck, a social media account, and just get going.
A large portion of London’s hottest ‘single item’ restaurants that have opened over the past few months have started out as pop ups, start ups and food stalls. But success is hard work, and the original enthusiasm also benefits from detailed experience of mentors.
This is where the Seed Fund comes in, a philanthropic organisation that’s hoping to help the next generation of fledgling food businesses grow. Launched in 2012, it’s now in its fourth year, and its aim is to offer support and mentoring from over 30 industry professionals and business leaders.
Twelve shortlisted companies will then be offered places on The Seed Fund Academy – which runs over a number of days during the summer months. The winning companies can attend seminars, workshops, one-on-one sessions with mentors, industry visits and ‘meet the buyer’ events. One eventual winner will then be announced at the Great Taste Golden Fork Awards Dinner in September, receiving a further year of support worth over £100,000.
Last year’s winner and co-owner of Adam’s Raw Chocolate, Mark Claydon said: “We came into The Seed Academy wanting to learn as much as possible, we left with a network of exciting local food businesses as our friends. Winning the support of The Seed Fund and The Collaborators means the message we want to share with the world will be stronger and more incisive. People’s diets can be massively improved by eating mineral-rich raw foods like raw chocolate; we want to help people lead healthier lives, and to have this support to help spread our message is incredibly exciting.”
Jayne Lilly, owner of The Collaborators and founder of The Seed Fund said of the 2016 entries: “We were spoilt for choice this year with an incredibly strong line-up of finalists from The Seed Academy, but Adam’s Raw Chocolate really captured the imagination of our judges with its brand story and exceptional quality chocolate, which is uniquely different to any others currently in the marketplace. Adam and Mark make a fantastic team and have already shown outstanding commitment to the Seed Academy over the summer months, so we can’t wait to get stuck in and help them make the transition from market stalls to food halls and beyond. It’s so rewarding to see The Seed Fund go from strength to strength each year and 2017 should be no exception, as we widen the Academy’s reach in association with Great Taste and continue to nurture the next generation of emerging talent in our industry.”
The UK’s small food businesses have come on leaps and bounds in recent years, helped by improved logistics, savvy social media, and a curious public looking for quality and taste. With Brexit and a host of other issues there are certainly challenges ahead, but programmes like The Seed Fund are a step in the right direction.
Entries are accepted from February 1, 2017 until March 31, 2017. Visit www.theseedfund.co.uk for more details.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.