Month: August 2019

WE ARE HIRING!

WE ARE HIRING – The AD:VENTURE programme is looking for enthusiastic and knowledgeable Business Advisors to join our team!

A BIT OF BACKGROUND:

AD:VENTURE is an £18 million programme, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) The programme is delivered and supported by a wide partnership of organisations, including, local authorities, chambers of commerce, universities, and social enterprises.

SO WHAT DO WE DO?

We support new and young business across the Leeds city region achieve their growth potential. It’s great!

The programme offers a range of support including, grants, one to one advice and workshops, along with specialist support from our partners. We are recruiting Business Advisers to join our team, to work across the Leeds City Region Area, working out of both our offices and those of our partners.

IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?

We are looking for people who have a background in business, or have experience in delivering business advice and support.

The advisor team is central to the delivery of the AD:VENTURE programme, the main point of contact for new and growing businesses, and as an advisor you would need to have a passion for supporting people and business and seeing them grow.

Delivering support and guidance to pre-start and start-up businesses up to 36 months old, who will have strong growth potential with opportunities for job creation, advisors will be allocated a specific geographic area in order to capitalise on local expertise and knowledge, as well as building up strong local networks which are essential to supporting the business community.

Experience of working with growth start-up businesses would be an advantage along with a strong emphasis on support with business planning and financials, in addition to strategic planning. Advisers will assist the beneficiary businesses in accessing various aspects of the programme including a series of workshops.

In addition to having a sound knowledge of other business support solutions/programmes available both nationally and across the Leeds City Region, the ideal candidate will have strong written and oral communication skills to aid effective communication with clients and stakeholders and be expected to work to a high level to meet the programmes compliance requirements.

HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE AND/OR  APPLY?

The roles are 35 hours per week, and £35K PA.

Click here to download the full Job Description,

Click here to download the Application-Form.

To apply for any of the above positions please email a copy of your CV and a completed application form to our delivery team at

TECH START-UP SET TO BE GLOBAL GRAND SLAM

A Leeds-based digital community and performance app for amateur tennis players is preparing for launch thanks to the guidance and support the founders received from AD:VENTURE, the ERDF funded programme supporting start-ups and scale ups throughout the Leeds City Region.

Founded by Cameron Almas and Jake Fox, WeTennis provides the sporting community with a platform that connects players together and allows them to track and display their performance stats against other enthusiasts.

Recognising that tennis players were being underserved by digital propositions, the founders developed a platform that uses match data to deliver advanced analytics and smart matchmaking allowing players to have a unique digital experience, accompanying their passion for the sport.

Understanding the importance of being surrounded by people with valuable experience and expertise, Cameron and Jake approached AD:VENTURE and were connected with professional Business Engagement Manager, Deborah Hetherington.

Jake comments: “I’m from a commercial background and Cameron’s past experience includes tennis retail, but as first-time founders of a business we needed to be connected with the right people to help validate the demand for WeTennis and also access support that could help us to make it happen.

“Deborah was an incredible help. Not only was she very informative and easily accessible, she also had access to a very diverse network of professionals. She connected us with Leeds Beckett University lecturer, Paul Rhodes, who acted as a mentor in the early days of WeTennis and helped us shape the value proposition and route-to-market strategy.”

Jake and Cameron also attended a one-day event in Halifax facilitated by AD:VENTURE, which was a “knowledge sprint” workshop offering a detailed insight into different areas of business, from product development, marketing and securing funds to name a few.

Along with the mentoring support, WeTennis also benefited from the work carried out by a team of students from Leeds Beckett University. The student team worked with WeTennis over a three-month period, conducting consumer market research in order to validate the demand for the product.

Jake comments: “The event in Halifax, which I saw as a ‘knowledge sprint’, showed us how to secure funding, market our product and the process of product development. Following this, the next step was to test and develop the WeTennis prototype.

“Once again, through Paul, a team of students from Leeds Beckett University collaborated with us for a three-month period, adding invaluable insight in how to tweak and change the app in preparation for its launch.”

Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, comments: “As well as accelerating the growth of established businesses across the Leeds City Region, the AD:VENTURE programme also helps empower budding entrepreneurs that are taking their first steps into launching brand new ventures.

“The Leeds City Region is becoming one of the UK’s leading hotspots for innovative, tech start-ups and WeTennis is no exception. Both Jake and Cameron are bringing to market an extremely exciting and unique offering, which is why the support, advice and guidance from AD:VENTURE has been so crucial.

“With such a diverse economy, it is great to know there is a programme in place that can offer expert support to start-ups and scale ups that helps them to grow and flourish.”

Following the early support received from AD:VENTURE, WeTennis built a well-rounded business plan which then helped secure £40,000 funding from the Business Enterprise Fund. This funding has been used to build the first version of the WeTennis app and the company has now established partnerships with clubs and universities in the UK and USA.

With the ability to record games, track and display performance analytics and interact with other players, WeTennis is aiming to become sports newest global digital community.

Find out more information about the WeTennis app here: https://wetennis.app/. To find out about the practical and funding support that can be accessed through AD:VENTURE please visit: www.ad-venture.org.uk.

Access Hospitality on shaking up the hospitality service sector with AD:VENTURE.

Stuart Hill set up to Access Hospitality, to enable adults with learning disabilities to gain fulfilling, paid employment in the hospitality sector. He looked to AD:VENTURE for support and guidance to help grow his business.

Stuart explains his connection with AD:VENTURE and how the programme helped his business.

“The reason that this came about is around 4 years ago I set up a rugby team for adults with disabilities, and a couple of the lads that play on our team expressed an interest in working behind the club bar.”

“We went away and looked at what the barriers to that role were and how we could reduce or remove those to enable the job to be fulfilling and for them to be efficient in a service role, and the support that I have got from AD:Venture has been fantastic to help me with this project.”

“First of all, I am not from a business background, I’m a teacher by trade and so although I knew the user group and I knew the problem, I didn’t know how to formulize that into an effective business plan and I didn’t know enough about individual areas of specialisms or expertise to be able to move it forward.”

“AD:Venture supported me in helping me attend the Bradford Council Northern Max Accelerator programme which got lots of specialists together over a 3 month period and I came out of that having absolutely transformed the idea from ‘How do I get a couple of lads at a local sports and community club working behind the bar?’ to ‘Actually, this programme could support jobs in national hospitality chains, it could work across different sectors.’”

“There was a challenge there on my thinking towards the idea and growing the idea, but then I have worked on the building blocks to put in place to let me know how I could go about doing that.”

“One of the things that I don’t have in setting up a business is time and going to lots of networking events, to eventually get to the right people, was frustrating and having Eric as a business advisor has managed to cut through that.”

“The advice that I have had has been from either experts in their field, or people with years of experience, so it’s been hugely beneficial.”

“I have now got an office at the Leeds Beckett University Business Centre for 6 months and compared with working at home, where there are lots of distractions, having an office space a shared office space with inspiring people around me has made me much more productive.”

“In terms of the business and where it goes, it’s now very open, so we are testing lots of different sectors, we are testing lots of different markets and that’s exciting because rather than just having a one dimensional plan, we feel we have got a stronger plan, that has different income streams identified and different opportunities.”

To find out more about how AD:VENTURE can help accelerate your business growth get in touch today.

 

Growth of innovative online food delivery brand

A Leeds business is targeting poor productivity and food waste by delivering delicious fresh, nutritionally balanced meals to workers across Leeds city centre. And now, it wants to take its innovative model to workplaces across the UK with a bid for £120,000 in crowdfunding.

Lean Lunch delivers chef-made dishes by bike to hundreds of time-poor workers across Leeds who are looking for a healthier, tastier alternative to uninspiring sandwich and crisps meal deals. And while it has seen phenomenal demand from individual customers, 70 per cent of its sales come from businesses, as firms like Sky, Arla and Burberry realise the benefits of focusing on their teams’ health, through healthier meeting catering or offering lunches as wellbeing perks for their teams.

Lean Lunch, which launched in 2017, is on course to organically double its turnover in 2019, and it is now looking to secure funding to grow its customer base in Yorkshire and replicate its successful model in other UK cities.

Founder Sat Mann came up with the idea for Lean Lunch after shopping for and preparing a healthy lunch to eat in the office became time consuming and uninspiring. The business, run by Sat and his wife Charlotte, is committed to a more sustainable way of eating that creates healthier people and a healthier planet and that helps businesses educate and support their teams to eat better now and in the future. Because meals are made to order, there’s no over-production, chefs use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible to reduce food miles, and because most deliveries are within a few of miles of the Lean Lunch kitchen in Kirkstall, they’re nearly all done by cargo bike. Plus, all Lean Lunch’s packaging is 100% recyclable or compostable.

Lean Lunch is the first and only online food business in the north dedicated to wellbeing and sustainability, tapping in to growing demand from consumers for better, less processed food that’s convenient but doesn’t have a negative effect on the planet. Lean Lunch meals use all natural ingredients, including only natural occurring sugars, are low in salt and contain no preservatives. The range includes vegan, gluten-free and dairy free options and takes its inspiration from cuisines from across the world.

“Eating highly processed food is harming our health and the health of the planet,” says Sat.

“And the problem isn’t just the junk we eat, it’s the nutritious food we don’t eat. Research shows that employees with poor diets are 66 per cent more likely to see reductions in productivity than those who have a nutritious, balanced diet, and 75 per cent of adults struggle to achieve their five-a-day.

“So, we’ve created a fresh, convenient alternative to pre-packed lunches that help maintain energy levels and deliver at least three of your five a day, with restaurant quality taste and variety that you just couldn’t make at home.

“We’re committed to inspiring and empowering people living in busy city environments to make better choices for their wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet, and to supporting people to eat more healthily and sustainably.”

Both the menus and software used to order meals have been developed in-house by the Lean Lunch team and they’ve got big ambitions for the future. Lean Lunch wants to create a model that can be easily replicated, so the Leeds model can be recreated in other locations across the UK.

“We want to refine the ordering process to make it truly personalised,” says Sat.

“Currently, you can filter by dietary requirements, but we’d like to be able to automate this so you get menu recommendations based on your personal preferences.

“We’d love to develop an app and have a fleet of electric vehicles that can deliver to industrial parks and offices outside of the city centre too.”

For more information on the crowdfunding campaign or to arrange interviews, contact Sat Mann on 0113 4032162,

07399 456020 or sat@leanlunch.co.uk. To invest, go to crowdcube.com/leanlunch   

In a year, Lean Lunch has:

  • Made more than 40,000 meals
  • Doubled production from 5,375 in Q1 of 2018 to 10,530 in Q1 of 2019
  • Increased revenue by 380 per cent from 2017 to 2019 (£7k Q1 2017, £34k Q1 2019).
  • Secured 65 per cent of orders from repeat customers
  • Generated £108K of turnover in 2018 and on course to double that in 2019
  • Created ambitious plans to increase its reach in Leeds and expand to other UK cities

How Lean Lunch works:

  • Meals are devised by a chef with the help of a nutritionist to include at least three of your five a day and balanced macros
  • You can order meals up to 10 days ahead and at least one day before
  • Choose your dietary requirements and pick how often you want meals delivered
  • Ingredients are sourced in just the right quantity from local suppliers
  • Meals are prepared fresh in exactly the right quantities and delivered via a fleet of cargo cycles within the boundaries of Leeds city centre
  • You can order single meals, cater for five to 500 people or provide subsidised meals for your team
  • Meals range in price from £4 to £7 and include hot and cold options, including breakfast
  • The Lean Lunch team will run nutrition seminars and workshops to educate and inspire businesses and their teams