Do you ever find yourself throwing away perfectly good food that you just don’t use? Perhaps it’s near its sell-by date, leftover from cooking, or you just simply overbought at your latest weekly shop… Whatever the reason, Tessa Cook and Saasha Celestial-One found the solution to reducing this waste in one simple solution. Olio is a free-app that connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away.
Luckily for students at Enactus Royal Holloway (one of the many entrepreneurial societies on campus) Michael Barsties, the Community Marketing and Operations Manager for Olio, came to visit on the evening of Tuesday 18th October 2016 and gave more insight into the journey the app underwent from the founders putting in their own money to securing venture capital money to scale up the business. Michael explained that during the launch in July 2015, the start-up costs were funded entirely by the owners, Tessa and Saasha, who each contributed £20,000. However, that August the pair successfully managed to secure funding from Excel Venture Management, enabling them to hire staff and reach a committed team of seven members. The success of this solution cannot only be illustrated in the amount of downloads and successful food shares, but also in the powerful partnerships the app has managed to secure. Examples include a strategic partnership with Sainsbury’s, “Food Waste Heroes” merchants such as Kerb, local bakeries and grocery stores, and other advocates such as ProperCorn, the Foodies Festival and Snact.
Enactus Royal Holloway are currently in the process of creating their own food recycling project, first aiming to tackle food waste at the University. If this sounds like something you want to get involved in, or if you have any ideas to share, please email Alvaro Ferreira at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact their Facebook page @EnactusRHUL. #entrepreneur #foodsharingrevolution