Mission Ventures to support SMEs with new fund

07 April 2020, 08:44 AM
  • The Good Food Fund has been launched to back food and drink start-ups to help tackle childhood obesity
Mission Ventures to support SMEs with new fund

Food and drink challenger SMEs and start-up brands committed to tackling childhood obesity have been invited to apply for a cut of a new £1.8m accelerator and venture fund.

The Good Food Fund, supported by accelerator Mission Ventures (from the people behind The Grocery Accelerator) and in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and Big Society Capital, will provide business support and allocate finances to brands bringing healthier food options to families, with a focus on after-school snacking. The venture capital fund will be managed by Ascension Ventures.

Brands can apply online until 27th April 2020 and successful applicants will receive a fully-funded package of business support from Mission Ventures. There’s also the option to apply for financial support in the form of equity and debt from The Good Food Fund.

Mission Ventures CEO Paddy Willis explains why it’s important to support SMEs in the industry: “Typically they have been founded by people who were dissatisfied by what choices were available to them and their children. As a result they are often braver in challenging the status quo, and because they don’t have the baggage of decision making from working in big companies they are able to make bold decisions and craft brands that stand out in a crowd.”

“Some of the best innovation has come from a fresh approach to the product category,” says Louis Bedwell, head of operations and co-founder, “typically from a consumer who has no prior experience of the food industry (we estimate this is true of 90% of founders). These founders need guidance to understand the dynamics and metrics of the industry they’re entering and the best way is to learn from those who have gone before them.

“There is a great opportunity for innovation and healthier products to emerge as challengers to these brands, but it needs support from the retail industry as well as investors.”

Paddy concludes, “The Good Food Fund and Accelerator offer a great package of practical industry support and access to funding that can be transformative in helping a business to evolve its product proposition to be competitive with the major brands, and in so doing become a true challenger brand.”

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