MDE 35: Pioneering healthy food on the go, Joe Carnell of ÜGOT

When virtually all your friends are going to university, it takes a strong willed person to leave school at 18 and jump into starting a business. As a reasonably frequent traveller myself I know the frustration not being able to find much choice of healthy food at train stations, so the story of how Joe came up with the concept of healthy food on the go and rolled it out really appealed to me. Not only has Joe discovered this niche in the food industry but he has also founded the company with...


MDE 34: Bringing the vibrancy of Africa into people's daily lives, Andrew Hunt of Aduna

What do you do if there’s no demand for your product? Create it yourself of course. That’s what Andrew Hunt is doing. Andrew is co-founder and managing director of Africa inspired health and beauty brand Aduna, which means ‘life’ in Wolof, the local language of the Gambia. Andrew started his career in the advertising industry, developing and launching consumer brands for companies including Pfizer and Heinz. He says, “They were products I didn't have any affinity with and I used to...


MDE 33: Bringing the crowd to crowdfunding, Manolis Sfinarolakis of Reality Crowd TV

The advantages to being a startup might not seem obvious when you’re working into the wee small hours and there’s nobody else to pass the buck to. But, says Manolis Sfinarolakis, you’re at an advantage. Manolis, who spoke to me over the sounds of his new beagle-and-Australian-sheepdog mix puppy, is founder and creator of Reality Crowd TV, a virtual crowdfunding network. He says, “When you’re a startup you can make mistakes and experiment because nobody is paying attention to you....


MDE 32: Encouraging the athlete in everyone, Tracy Strandness of Barefoot Athletic

The Barefoot Athletic Company’s mission is to “to support and encourage the everyday athlete through eco-friendly products that motivate and inspire.” But founder Tracy Strandness’s own story is one of the most motivational of them all. I spoke to her on the phone from Washington. From a background in youth work, via marketing and office management, Tracy built the Barefoot Athletic Company from the ashes of domestic abuse. “In a nutshell our world turned upside down,” she says,...


Sending lots of CVs with no results? Do this instead...

A guest post from Angus Morison, a MBA student I worked with several years ago, who is now founder of Hedgebrunch, a unique network for the hedge fund and alternative investment world. On a recent train journey Angus found himself pondering an article in the newspaper containing another graduate quote about "I've sent hundreds of CVs, still nothing". Over to Angus... Getting a job (if you want one) is the same task as building a product you wish to sell. You have to look at the market and: see...


MDE 31: Recycling to reduce plastic waste and poverty. David Katz of The Plastic Bank

David Katz describes himself as a “Very solid C-student at school”. He laughs, “I was always distracted but that doesn’t mean I am not a learner.” The entrepreneur has certainly learned enough to devise an ingenious way to save the planet. Two years ago he founded The Plastic Bank, a company devoted to, well, saving the planet. They do this by monetising plastic waste. “There’s actually a ton of value in it,” says David, “in fact, recycled plastic has more demand than...