CEO and co-founder Iseult Ward’s FoodCloud makes the essential connection between companies in Ireland who have surplus food and the charities that have the power to deliver it to those who need it. The idea is simple: retailers, restaurants and cafes simply download the app for a small fee and from there FoodCloud is able to notify the relevant charities of the extra food that hasn’t sold.And with over 30 per cent of food globally being wasted while 795m people are struggling with food poverty, Ward is hoping to make it through the finals of Richard Branson’s £1m VOOM competition. Category: Grow Location: Dublin, Ireland Founding year: 2013 (1) What was your inspiration for launching the business? The UN have said that if we could reduce the amount of food wasted globally by just 25 per cent we would have enough food to feed all of those people who are malnourished. Within communities, businesses are throwing away perfectly good food and charities are struggling to raise funding to feed those in need. We wanted to find a local, sustainable and scalable solution to this global problem. (2) Who are your target customers? Food businesses and charities. (3) What prompted you to take part in VOOM this year? FoodCloud has tested and scaled our solution with retailers and charities across the UK and Ireland – we now have 450 stores and over 1,000 charities using the platform to donate food and over 3m meals equivalent have been redistributed through the platform since we launched in October 2013. We are now in a position to scale our platform internationally and the VOOM competition is the perfect opportunity for FoodCloud to “VOOM”.
(4) How did you find the Pitchathon, and what did you do to prepare?The Pitchathon was an amazing and intense experience. I practiced the pitch with the team and our key stakeholders daily until I was fully prepared for the pitch and ensured that I was in a strong position to answer any questions the judges may ask. I even practiced the pitch with a taxi driver at 1am when my flight was delayed the night before the Pitchathon! (5) Prior to that, what was your experience of pitching? We went through two startup accelerator programmes in Ireland when FoodCloud was first founded – this gave us great initial experience in pitching FoodCloud and our solution. Since FoodCloud has expanded, we have had great opportunities to pitch for national and international competitions including Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, and the opportunity to speak at international conferences including the European Youth Event in Strasbourg and Seeds and Chips conference in Milan.
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