Press Release

Social enterprise feeds success with #StartMeUp Pitch win

11 May 2017

Serviced office provider Orega has announced that social enterprise Foodinate is the winner of its #StartMeUp Pitch competition, receiving six months of free office space in Blue Tower at MediaCityUK.

Foodinate, founded by Caroline Stevenson, partners with restaurants and food-giving charities to enable diners to donate meals for the homeless by simply ordering a Foodinate-selected drink or meal at no extra cost. In Manchester, for every Foodinate meal sold, a meal is provided to a food-giving charity in the same area, ensuring meals are served to people in need in the same community.

The other worthy finalists included Key Talent Personnel, Floggl, Mike Russ Entertainments (MRE) Group Ltd. and DadShed.

The #StartMeUp Pitch, which launched last November, asked local businesses to submit short business pitches online, with Orega selecting five companies from the hopefuls to present face-to-face, Dragons Den style. Judges Carole Fossey, Founder of carolefossey.co.uk and socialmediastrategy.co.uk, Mark Robinson, Head of Asset Management at MediaCityUK, Zachary Douglas, Managing Director of Orega and Emma Cheshire, founder of Futurelabs and CEO of dotforge.co.uk had the tricky task of choosing a winner to move into a prestigious MediaCityUK office.

Zachary Douglas explained the thinking behind the competition: "We recently introduced a coworking space called The Blue Room and we wanted to introduce start-ups and small businesses to the space. We had no idea what to expect and it's been a real journey for the judges and finalists.”

Mark Robinson said: “We were so impressed by the enthusiasm and passion that each of the candidates showed for their respective businesses. We felt that Caroline and Foodinate deserved to win as she was the most accomplished all-round candidate and had the most ripe business for scaling up now, and therefore the greatest need for the Orega office.”

Carole Fossey added: “Caroline knocked her presentation out of the park and her understanding of what was needed to take the business to the next level was very clear.”

Caroline Stevenson of Foodinate said: “I am absolutely delighted to have won the Orega #StartMeUp Pitch! I launched Foodinate just over 12 months ago as a means to impact food poverty in the UK. It's been an incredible journey. Not only does winning this competition signal a monumental and potentially game-changing point in that journey, but it's the best first birthday celebration Foodinate could have asked for! I am confident that having such an amazing resource will help us massively in our missions to grow and expand our impact over the coming months.”

Zachary Douglas concluded: "Everyone really enjoyed the day and we look forward to seeing where the businesses are in a few months' time. There will be more from #StartMeUp in the future."

You can find out more about Foodinate’s work here: http://foodinate.co.uk/