Running until 30 April, The Seed Fund 2018 is now open for entry, continuing the philanthropic organization’s mission to help food and drink start-ups turn ‘big ideas into big businesses’ and ‘lay down strong roots’ for the future.
In partnership with Great Taste food awards, the initiative’s academy will offer 12 places to fledgling food businesses across the UK, giving them an opportunity to present to a panel of judges in a bid to accelerate their commercial growth. The eventual winner will be granted one year of brand development advice and business support estimated to be worth more than £100,000.
Winning the support of The Seed Fund means the message we want to share with the world will be stronger and more incisive
Now in its fifth year, The Seed Fund offers what it calls a ‘game changing’ programme throughout the summer, comprising workshops, seminars and insights into a broad spectrum of business issues including finance, brand design, marketing and distribution. Also provided within the programme are one-to-one mentor sessions with industry experts such as: Renée Elliott, founder of Planet Organic; Emma Murphy from Sourced Market; award-winning baker Tom Herbert John Farrand of the Guild of Fine Food and natural brand the Squirrel Sisters.
Previous winners include Adam’s Chocolate, for whom the 2016 win spurred listings in Planet Organic, Whole Foods and Sourced Market. Mark Claydon, co-owner of Adam’s Chocolate, speaks of the impact the experience had on the brand: “We came into the 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 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.”
The Seed Academy’s ‘Class of 2018’ will be announced in May, while the winner will be revealed at the Great Taste Golden Fork Awards Dinner in London in the autumn. To quality for entry, food and drinks start-ups must have been trading for less than three years and see a turnover of under £1,000,000 a year. To apply, visit www.theseedfund.co.uk.