Meet the Virgin StartUp Ambassadors 2015

At Virgin StartUp we’re incredibly proud to have helped such a diverse range of amazing businesses start up. From all kind of industries, to locations all over England, we’ve been constantly impressed at the creativity and resourcefulness of the UK’s entrepreneurs.

We wanted to recognise this, and to discover more about the lives of our entrepreneurs. So we decided that what we needed were some Virgin StartUp ambassadors – entrepreneurs living the Virgin StartUp values, whose stories we can follow and who are fantastic examples of what a Virgin StartUp business is.  Each entrepreneur will also have an opportunity to meet Sir Richard Branson.

After an extremely difficult judging process, we’re proud to announce the following six businesses as our official Virgin StartUp ambassadors.

 Zara Cakes

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Based in: Manchester


Elevator pitch: Starting out from founder Zara Neild’s kitchen, Zara Cakes now make beautifully detailed bespoke cakes for all occasions – whether birthdays, weddings, or just for a treat.

Loan amount: £9000


Top achievement: Being part of the Pitch To Rich regional tour

G2 brewing

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Based in: Kent


Elevator pitch: G2 Brewing are a craft microbrewery creating unique (and delicious!) local beers with a creative edge.


Loan amount:

Top achievement: Building up a loyal repeat customer base already, despite just purchasing equipment and starting to produce the product in the last year.


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Based in: London

Elevator pitch: Frugl is an app which helps people find fun and interesting things to do in London on a budget. All activities listed are £10 or under.

Loan amount: £20,000


Top achievement: Being featured on the front of the App store; being covered in national media such as the Metro and Telegraph; and grown their audience to 15.5k.


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Based in: London


Elevator pitch: Launchcloud is a tool to build responsive forms and capture data on and offline, enabling companies to collect the data that’s really useful and listen better to what their customers want.

Loan amount: £500

Top achievement: Gained paying customers after finalizing the app across iOS and Android.

Rainbow Factory

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Based in: Leeds

Elevator pitch: Rainbow Factory is an innovative play centre, boasting over 5,000 sq ft of colourful spaces and activities. Founder Hazel Merlino aims to inspire children with a love of stories and books from a young age, and the space features well-loved characters from traditional tales.

Loan amount: £20,000


Top achievement: Secured over £45,000 in investment to launch the business


A Natural Undertaking

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Based in: Birmingham

Elevator pitch: A Natural Undertaking, founded by Carrie Weekes and Frances Glover, is an independent undertaking business that aims to provide a more personal, positive and natural funeral experience.

Virgin StartUp Loan amount: £10,000

Top achievement: - Received eight nominations for “Most Promising New Funeral Director” at the Good Funeral Awards since launch

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