We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Foodpreneur 2017 together with intu, our competition to celebrate the UK’s brightest and best food and drink startups! This year we’re partnering with intu, joining forces to search the nation for tomorrow’s food and drink superstars.

The Prize

intu own some of the largest and most popular shopping centres in the UK such as intu Lakeside in Essex and intu Metrocentre in Newcastle. They attract footfall in the millions and retail expenditure in the billions each year – they’re offering an opportunity for winners to get their products in front of this huge audience – for free.

  • Eight semi-finalists will be awarded the opportunity to showcase their business in  a customised pop-up in one of intu’s prime shopping centres and online at intu.co.uk for one week.
  • Four finalists will win the chance to pitch and present their business to a panel of top industry experts.
  • The winner will be awarded the opportunity to run their business in one of intu’s flagship shopping centres and online at intu.co.uk for six weeks.
  • 18 hours of mentor sessions from Virgin StartUp mentors and intu executives. 

How to enter

Aged over 18, with the right to work in the UK and launching or running a food/drinks business that’s under three years old?

Entries are open now – find out more and apply here. 

Enter now


Meet the winners of the last Virgin StartUp Foodprener


“We have a proud history of supporting entrepreneurship across the Virgin Group. Business can be a force for good and more people need to be given the chance to shine,” said Virgin StartUp Managing Director, Mei Shui. “Previous Foodpreneur finalists have gone on to become brilliant entrepreneurs and I expect this year’s alumni will be no different.”

Previous winners of Foodpreneur include Harry Brompton’s Iced Tea and Cauli Rice, who have gone from strength to in the UK their products are now fixtures in major retail outlets and are on sale in the U.S too.

We’re also thrilled to announce our first judge, Jim Cregan of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, which started six years ago and rapidly established itself as a market leader. As Jim puts it, “I know first-hand how relentless and rewarding it can be to get your product stocked, but the food and drink sector is super competitive right now. The Foodpreneur competition is a rad way for young businesses to break into the market, and being offered a pop-up space in a heaving shopping centre is exposure I could only have wished for when I launched”.