With a line-up intent on shaking up the shopping basket, The Seed Fund has announced its Class of 2019, revealing the 14 food and drink start-ups that have been invited to join its summer Academy. Now in its seventh year, the philanthropic organisation will unite these ambitious entrepreneurs with top mentors from across the industry, during an intensive programme designed to transform big ideas into big business.
Reflecting the nation’s shifting tastes, this year’s Academy is brimming with innovative combinations, new creations and fresh takes on kitchen classics. Featuring dairy-free cheese, fermented foods, switchels and cold-pressed juices made with wonky fruit and vegatables, many in the group are responding to the changing face of food and drink, while makers of tomato ketchup, peanut butter, spritzers and vinegars plan to take traditional favourites to a new level. Bone broth and beef-based snack bars bring some meat into the mix, with avocado oils, tahini butters, frozen meals for infants and biscuits for beverages completing the list.
The Seed Fund Academy’s Class of 2019 includes:
Borough Broth Co., London – organic bone broths
Bottlebrush Ferments, London – raw fermented foods
Dr Wills, London – all natural condiments
Flawsome!, Cardiff – cold-pressed juices made from imperfect fruit and vegetables
Hunter & Gather, London – avocado oil mayonnaise and cold pressed avocado oil
Kinda Co., London – dairy-free cheese
Mamamade, London – nutritious frozen meals for babies
Manilife, London – peanut butter
Prime Bar, West Yorkshire – snack bars made with grass-fed beef, fruits, herbs and spices
Sead Foods, Newcastle-under-Lyme – sesame seed spreads
SilverSwift, Bath – gin and vodka spritzers
The Drinks Bakery, Edinburgh – savoury snacks flavour-profiled to complement drinks
Vinegar Shed, London – vinegars, olive oils, herbs, spices, peppers, salts and more
Zingibear, Lake District – apple cider vinegar and ginger switchels
These budding businesses will now embark on a game-changing series of workshops, seminars, industry visits and one-on-one sessions with mentors including Renée Elliott, founder of Planet Organic, the Guild of Fine Food’s John Farrand, Camilla Barnard from Rude Health and Emma Murphy of Sourced Market. Run in partnership with Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food awards, the Academy will cover branding, funding, finance, PR, social media, law and more, during a comprehensive accelerator programme designed to help these products find space on the crowded shelves.
Following a summer of learning and development, a brand new investment Pitch Day will be held at Piper Private Equity in Notting Hill, where the business owners will have an opportunity to secure funding for their brands. One eventual Academy winner will also be announced at the Great Taste Golden Forks Dinner in London this autumn, awarded a further year of business support and brand development, estimated to be worth over £100,000.