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Following up on a successful Soup

GAIN with Plymouth University hosted their first ever Soup event earlier this month - a live businesses crowdfunding event where the audience became the investors.

The event was well-attended with over 100 guests comprising members of the local business community, students and academic staff taking part in this international crowdfunding phenomenon that's helping businesses across the world to grow.

Four local entrepreneurs signed up to pitch their ideas on the day. Each had four minutes to deliver their speeches and four further questions from the audience. Their goal was to convince the crowd their idea was worthy of the investment prize package - £750 cash investment and a whole host of support and services from Formation Zone, Futures Entrepreneurship Centre, Devon Chamber of Commerce and RIO. 

Peninsula Honey Company took the top prize after founder Dr George Graham asked for support to grow his start-up business, which aims to reduce our nation’s reliance on imported honey by producing more locally. 

The concept could also enhance urban biodiversity, and the business operates as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) as it plans to provide honey for families in food poverty. 

GAIN will be following Peninsula Honey Company's journey over the coming months, charting their progress and sharing their experiences of growing a business through blogs and stories here on the GAIN Exchange. 

As part of the prize package, Peninsula Honey Company became the first official member of the GAIN20 - an exclusive network of innovative or disruptive businesses who will work together to share knowledge and boost enterprise and innovation in the region. 

Dr Graham said: 
“The money will be a boost, but the opportunity to network with some serious players in the Plymouth business community and the wider South West business community has been invaluable. Winning a place on the GAIN20 programme and the package of support from other businesses associated with GAIN will be of even more help, as our business model needs that connectivity to help us get established.” 
GAIN20 members will have exclusive access to networking groups and events, Plymouth University facilities, equipment and knowledge and peer-to-peer support from the other members. They will be introduced to a community of established, passionate pathfinder businesses who have achieved sustained growth through innovation or diversification. Members will also have the opportunity to promote themselves through blogs, diaries and articles published on 

Further Soup events are planned to take place throughout the year. Dates are yet to be confirmed, but will be available at interested in pitching at one of the forthcoming events should also visit the page for more information.

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