Cassandra Stavrou

Co-founder of PROPERCORN

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Cassandra is the co-founder of PROPERCORN, the UK’s fastest growing premium popcorn company. Starting out in her kitchen when she was just 25, Cassandra now leads a team from their offices in London, selling more than three million packs of their award-winning popcorn per month.

Since first launching in 2011, Cassandra has worked tirelessly to create a dynamic business, grounded in passion for food and creativity. Unwilling to compromise on taste or health, PROPERCORN’s gluten-free collection is now available 10 countries across Europe, with the business emerging as the fastest non-tech start-up in the UK.

Since successfully launching PROPERCORN, Cassandra has made mentorship of others, both internally and externally, an enormous part of her working life. Her passion for entrepreneurship has seen her involved in Warehouse’s Women to Watch initiative, Marie Claire @work live and Ted X events. This year, Cassandra has also worked with DEFRA as a Great British Food Pioneer.

Last year, Cassandra was rewarded for her efforts in both business and mentorship, receiving the prestigious Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award.

Why are you looking forward to judging the Startups Awards 2017?

It’s a fantastic initiative to be involved in. It’s great opportunity to learn about new businesses, and have a chance to meet the people behind them. Having been through the early stages of starting a business myself, I remember how nerve-wracking yet exciting it can be.

I find it very inspiring to meet people going through that same experience.

What are you looking for from start-up businesses?

The most important thing is having a credible, passionate team, and a clear vision of where they are heading. A business needs to have good commercial sense, creative flair and transparency. Simplicity is key- I should be able to understand what the business is about from their opening sentence.

What is great about business in Britain?

The start-up landscape has never been more dynamic: barriers to entry have lowered, funding is more readily available, and businesses have access to an incredible network of support and advice.

That said, there has also never been more competition, which means that the onus is on the businesses to be genuinely interesting and differentiated.

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