Branson relaunches initiative to help British “foodies” launch in US

Virgin mogul has opened entries for Virgin Startup Foodpreneur Festival with opportunity to win rent-free pop-up space and a listing with Target

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Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson has announced the return of the Virgin StartUp Foodpreneur Festival, an initiative which gives budding food and beverage entrepreneurs the opportunity to scale their business in the UK and US.

Running for its second year, the Foodpreneur Festival intends to find Britain’s up-and-coming “foodies” and will combine workshops from industry figures with a competition judged by a panel of leading names – including Ella’s Kitchen founder Paul Lindley and Branson himself.

This year the competition has two categories to enter; Street Food and Retail.

The street food category will be judged in colloboration with Shoreditch’s Urban Food Fest and Appear Here and one winner will receive a week’s rent-free pop up space at Old Street station, while another winner will be given a rent-free stall for three months at the Urban Food Fest.

Retail prize winners will be given the “ultimate business opportunity” to launch their business in the US; four winners will meet buyers at Target and could have their products trialed in over 300 of its stores, with the option for successful food and drink products to be rolled out across 2,000 stores after six months.

Branson commented:

“Britain is living through a golden age of entrepreneurship with over  five million small businesses providing jobs and helping to boost the economy. At the heart of this are British foodie start-ups which have created a burgeoning industry of entrepreneurs. Last year’s event unearthed some fantastic talent and I can’t wait to meet the next wave of foodpreneurs driving this movement forward.”

Competition judge, Lindley, added: 

“Drawing on my own experience and the excellent opportunities on offer through the collaboration with Target Corporation, I am confident that soon US consumers will soon be discovering some fantastic new British food brands!”

Entries for the competition are open now and will close on September 16 at 5pm, click here to enter.

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