The UK’s first accelerator programme with funding for ambitious food and drink brands, Grocery Accelerator launched in January 2015 and has already backed nine businesses with a total of £555,000 of SEIS/EIS investment via partner funds. Businesses enter a national competition to find the most promising new brands and be in with a chance of equity and coaching support all the way to exit.
Co-founders Paddy Willis, Rob Ward and Simon Lacey combine over fifty years’ experience building successful and exciting brands in the UK and working with the retail trade and they are supported by associates with similar experience. Paddy co-founded Plum Baby (exit £10m to Darwin Private Equity) and Rob built and sold two farm retail businesses to an investment group. Simon’s last role, as Commercial Director of a premium pet food brand, saw him increase sales tenfold to £10m in four years. Already working on their third cohort, the team have plans to run at least two accelerators a year to support innovation in the UK and are open to enquiries from interested investors for future opportunities.