WeWork Hammersmith Grove, London


The UK’s startup food scene has never been more exciting. If you're running a food business, you might start small but you'll likely have ambitions to grow larger. So if you're going to achieve world domination, there are some things you need to think about when it comes to expanding. Come and meet those who have done exactly that with their businesses and learn how and you can do the same.


Speaker: Huib Van Bockel, founder, Tenzing

As former European Marketing Director of Red Bull and now Founder of TENZING, Huib Van Bockel is armed with a deep understanding of the drinks market. Back in 2016, he envisaged a challenger brand that would reimagine the traditional energy drink and stand as a healthy alternative to its sugar-laden alternatives.

In search of inspiration, the entrepreneur headed on an international voyage of discovery, where he soon came across the uplifting brews of the Himalayan Sherpas —  the first, a very strong leaf blend infused with salt, and the second, a lemon drink. These energising brews then became the recipe inspiration behind Tenzing Natural Energy as we know it today.

Three years on, Huib has managed to transform an idea into a reality with a 15-strong team and partnerships with the likes of Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Whole Foods. This year, Huib and his team are starting their international mission as the company launches in Canada and across Europe.

Huib Van Bockel, founder of Tenzing, is speaking at the Virgin StartUp MeetUp

Speaker: Alice Gilsenan, founder, Tiny Leaf

Alice’s career began in food marketing, carving out a considerable reputation as a strategist and project manager. However, having led campaigns for some of the UKs most well known food brands she became compelled to spend her time promoting brands that have a positive impact on the earth’s resources.

Alice then pursued a career in conservation taking on the role of Operations and Marketing Director for Paul Lister’s re-wilding charity The European Nature Trust (famed for its goal of re-introducing bears and wolves to the UK).

In 2016 she embarked on her most exciting journey yet, the launch of Tiny Leaf, London and the UK’s first restaurant / events company focussed on organic, vegetarian, zero waste food. Since its viral launch in 2016 Alice then expanded the events side of the business and took the message of sustainable eating on the road by public speaking at some of the growing number of sustainability events that were then taking place. 2019 sees her branching out with the launch of her own sustainable food brand ‘Nature’ which aims to take sustainable catering and events to the next level with the ultimate goal of making the concept of ‘sustainability’ an easily understood, daily topic.   


Alice Gilsenan will be speaking at our MeetUp with Virgin StartUp


Get tickets