London hosts Virgin foodpreneur event

Virgin Startup Foodpreneur Festival 2014

The second Virgin StartUp Foodpreneur Festival takes place today

With the UK’s grocery market predicted to rise from £175bn to £203bn by 2019, Virgin StartUp Foodpreneur Festival, which stages its second event today [2 October] in London, can expect to be well subscribed. Street-foodies, boutique restaurant proprietors, food bloggers and upstarts eyeing up the shelves of the major supermarkets will be among those trying to impress the panel, which includes Sir Richard Branson and Ella’s Kitchen’s Paul Lindley.

Developed by Virgin StartUp, Sir Richard Branson’s not-for-profit company providing funding and support for entrepreneurs, prizes at the food festival include the chance for British foodies to launch their product in the US (via retailers Target Corporation) or receive a rent-free pop-up for a week at London’s Old Street underground station.

Taking place at London’s The Vinyl Factory, the event will kick off with workshops on subjects such as scaling up (hosted by Jim Cregan from Jimmy’s Iced Coffee), production and branding. The finalists will then showcase their food businesses in the afternoon to the afore-mentioned panel.

“Britain is living through a golden age of entrepreneurship with over five million small businesses providing jobs and helping to boost the economy,” said Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson. “At the heart of this are British foodie start-ups which have created a burgeoning industry of entrepreneurs. Last year’s event unearthed some fantastic talent and I can’t wait to meet the next wave of foodpreneurs driving this movement forward.”

“The US market can be a holy grail to young British brands looking to expand internationally,” said Paul Lindley, founder of Ella’s Kitchen. “I am excited to be working with Virgin StartUp on our joint mission to find pioneering entrepreneurs and help them gain the momentum needed to crack new markets. Drawing on my own experience and the excellent opportunities on offer through the collaboration with Target Corporation, I am confident that soon US consumers will soon be discovering some fantastic new British food brands.”

The project is supported by government campaign Exporting is GREAT, which aims to inspire 100,000 new businesses to export by 2020.

About author

Nick Scott

Nick Scott

A former editor-in-chief of The Rake and deputy editor of the Australian edition of GQ, Nick has had features published in titles including Esquire, The Guardian, Observer Sport Monthly and Rolling Stone Australia and is a contributing editor to Director magazine. He has interviewed celebrities including Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig and Elle Macpherson, as well as business people including Sir Richard Branson, Charles Middleton and Nick Giles and Michael Hayman MBE.

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