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The Seed Fund 2018 opens for entry, helping food start-ups to grow their own

Amy Brice

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On a mission to help food and drink start-ups turn their big ideas into big business, The Seed Fund will open for entry from Monday 5 February, in partnership with Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food awards. With 12 places up for grabs in its annual Academy, the philanthropic organisation is calling for fledgling food businesses from across the UK to apply.

Offering a game changing summer programme of seminars, workshops and one-on-one sessions with mentors including Renée Elliott, founder of Planet Organic, the Guild of Fine Food’s John Farrand, Emma Murphy from Sourced Market and the Squirrel Sisters, Gracie and Sophie Tyrrell, The Seed Academy provides a unique opportunity for the future stars of food and drink to accelerate the growth of their businesses. One eventual winner will be awarded a further year of business support and brand development, estimated to be worth over £100,000.

Now in its fifth year, The Seed Fund has helped dozens of food start-ups to lay down strong roots and grow their brands, with success stories including FIREPOT by Outdoorfood, which is currently expanding its premises, team and product range after taking the top prize in 2017. The Seed Fund’s 2016 winner, Adam’s Chocolate, is now listed in Planet Organic, Wholefoods and Sourced Market following its rebrand from The Collaborators, while 2017 Academy members, Northumberland Honey Co., secured a listing with Diverse Fine Food as a result of pitching to the panel of mentors.

The Seed Fund will be accepting entries from any food and drink start-ups that have been trading for less than three years, with a turnover under £1,000,000 per annum. The Seed Academy’s Class of 2018 will be announced in May, with this year’s winner due to be unveiled at the Great Taste Golden Fork Awards Dinner in London this autumn.

The Seed Fund will be open for entry from Monday 5 February until Monday 30 April. To apply, visit www.theseedfund.co.uk