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Freshly Ground PR is a PR and marketing agency based in Bath, specialising in independent food and drink, hospitality and lifestyle brands.

The Seed Fund Academy opens for entry, reaching out to foragers, bakers, picklers and makers

Amy Brice

Dorset Sea Salt

On a mission to find the UK and Ireland’s future stars of food and drink, The Seed Fund will open for entry on Friday 1 February, offering 12 places on its summer Academy run in partnership with Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food awards. Open to award-winning start-ups and part-time producers alike, The Seed Fund is looking to unearth the hedgerow harvesters, rooftop beekeepers and back garden brewers who are ready to take their budding businesses to the next level.

Now in its seventh year, the entirely philanthropic project is supported by mentors including Renée Elliott, founder of Planet Organic, the Guild of Fine Food’s John Farrand and Camilla Barnard from Rude Health. Covering branding, funding, finance, PR, social media and much more, these handpicked industry experts will put the Academy through its paces with a game-changing series of workshops, presentations and one-on-one sessions, run between May and September.

Beginning with a hands-on Breaking Bread event at the Guild of Fine Food in London, the Academy will culminate in a brand new investment pitch day held at Piper Private Equity in Notting Hill, where the fledgling producers will have an opportunity to present to the panel and win investment for their brands. One eventual winner also will be awarded a further year of business support and brand development, estimated to be worth over £100,000.

The Seed Fund can accept 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 Fund Academy’s Class of 2019 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 Friday 1 February until Monday 1 April. To apply, visit www.theseedfund.co.uk.