Posted: 01/02/2019

Entries now open for 2019 Seed Fund start-up support scheme

The Seed Fund
2018 winner Jethro Tennant has seen his small-batch Dorset Sea Salt listed in Selfridges

Ambitious new food & drink brands are being invited to pitch for places on The Seed Fund Academy, the free annual business support programme run by branding consultancy The Collaborators and supported by the Guild and Great Taste.

Now in its seventh year, the philanthropic scheme sees dozens of start-ups and part-time entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to a panels of producers, wholesalers and marketing and funding specialists.

Twelve budding producers are then selected to take part in the Academy: a summer-long programme of regular workshops, meet-the-buyers and one-to-one mentoring sessions with experts including Camilla Barnard of Rude Health, Planet Organic founder Renee Elliott and Guild MD John Farrand.

One business is then chosen from among the 12 finalists to receive a further year of support and brand development, with the winner announced at September’s Great Taste Golden Forks dinner

Last year’s winner was Dorset Sea Salt, set up in 2017 by Jethro Tennant with a loan from The Prince’s Trust. Tennant’s small batch sea salt range has since been listed in Selfridges and he is also supplying it as a bulk ingredient to fellow Seed Fund finalist Made For Drink.

The 2019 programme kicks off with a ‘breaking bread’ session at No 42 Southwark St in May, where this year’s 12 finalists will meet the mentors, and it will culiminate in an investment pitch day at Piper Private Equity in Notting Hill.

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