A brand is not just a logo. A brand encapsulates everything that your start-up is, and all that it wants to be. Your brand is what someone experiences every time they come into contact with your business, and should define how you want them to feel about it.
At Virgin, we've built over 60 businesses off the back of our irresistible brand, taking millions of people with us along the way. Now, we want to help the entrepreneurs of the future build lasting, incredible brands of the future.
Our MeetUps are a great chance to meet like-minded entrepreneurs, hear from expert speakers who've been there and done that, and network with the Virgin StartUp team and other inspiring businesses. You can also enjoy a beer thanks to our partners at WeWork too.
18:00 - 18:30 : Arrival
19:00 - 19:45 : Speakers
19:45 - 20:30 : Q&A
20:30 - 21:00 : Networking
PAUL BROWN, FOUNDER OF BOL
After a trip to California opened Paul's eyes to the world of healthy fast-food, he founded BOL in 2015 in an attempt to provide healthy, plant-based meals on the go. Put simply, we need to eat less meat and more plants, he says.
NATHAN PERRY AND JAMES LACY, FOUNDERS OF DENZEL'S
Denzel's, a Virgin StartUp-backed business, was founded by two best mates, Nathan Perry and James Lacy, who spotted an opportunity to bring human snacking trends and branding to the pet category.
Denzel's mission is to educate owners about proper nutrition and dog ownership. This is done through the products, the packaging, free educational cards in each pack and events.
Denzel's sells on Ocado, as well as direct to consumers via www.denzels.co.uk, and are currently selling worldwide in 9 countries.
ANNA BRIGHTMAN, FOUNDER, UPCIRCLE BEAUTY
With a passion for skincare and previous experience in logistics and management it seemed like a no brainer for Anna to join forces with her brother William when he had the idea to form a business based on transforming used coffee grounds.
The sibling pair discovered that more than 500,000 tonnes of coffee grounds that are consumed each year in the UK alone are sent to landfill.
They decided to start collecting coffee from cafes across London and transforming them into their sustainable skincare range. Since their launch 3 years ago the brand has saved approximately 40 tonnes of coffee. Based on their current rates of growth it is estimated that this will rise to 1000 tonnes in the next 5 years.
Anna and William had initial success with the original brand Optiat with UK listings in the likes of Waitrose, Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters, Planet Organic and TopShop as well as online platforms Cult Beauty and Pretty Little Thing. The company also expanded into Europe, distributing in eight countries.
In 2018 Optiat successfully crowdfunded, followed by a successful appearance on the UK TV show “Dragons’ Den”, receiving offers from three dragons.
Optiat has now rebranded to UpCircle Beauty, launching new product ranges including an organic face serum with coffee oil from used grounds and soap bars made with re-used chai tea spices. They have now launched into 740 Boots stores and expanded their distribution to Australia. UpCircle have bold ambitions for the years to come!