22nd August 2018


To succeed within business is notoriously difficult. The Startup Kitchen, a collective fund at Prism, is out to try and help young entrepreneurs succeed in their business endeavours, by giving them advice and opportunities that may have otherwise been unavailable to them. They have partnered with over 45 highly experienced entrepreneurs, investors and advisors, providing mentees in east London with expert advice, from funding to branding. They do this via their free monthly workshop in Shoreditch – Lewis Parkes, a relationship manager of Prism, attended one on these on 13th September.

Zara Afflick, Founder of The Box of Prints and a former beneficiary of The Startup Kitchen, hosts each three-hour session. This particular workshop began with an ‘elevator pitch’ from each mentee, giving a summary of their business, progress and the challenges they faced. Those in attendance were Tom, Neha, Thea, creators of products within the food industry, Elizabeth-Yemi, owner of a bohemian, West African fashion brand, and Randy, who aspired to create the world’s ‘most ethical pub’. They were joined by Chris Bowden, Co-founder of The StartUp Kitchen and Squeaky Clean Energy, and Giles Thorley, Chief Executive Officer at Development Bank of Wales, who then gave their ‘top business tips’ to the rest of the room. After the intros, ‘breakout sessions’ began, comprising of a group activity between Zara and three young entrepreneurs, whilst Chris and Giles gave a 1:1 ‘masterclass’. Through rotating ‘stations’, each mentee could access a variety of information and advice.

The benefits of this became obvious. During the group exercise, individuals took turns presenting their biggest challenge for five minutes, uninterrupted, before being questioned for the next ten. This encouraged shared learning as the group revealed the actions they took in similar situations. Mentees found this reassuring and described a ‘buzz’ from being in a room with likeminded people. Randy however, highlighted the particular benefit of 1:1s. He received recommendations on his potential pubs business structure, charitable status and ethical focus, which aims to launch next year. He explained “the opportunity to speak to such successful business people is invaluable to us start-ups and accessing their network of relevant contacts is a huge bonus too”.




With each workshop comprising of 5-10 young entrepreneurs and 2-5 experts, the generous time dedicated to each mentee’s project is an obvious benefit they receive. Prism the Gift Fund is proud to enable charitable initiatives such as those run by The Startup Kitchen. Through their free sessions, The Startup Kitchen is making available opportunities for everyone to access expert business advice, so that they can succeed!


Find out more about Startup Kitchen:



More on Collective Funds at Prism:

Collective Funds are an easy to set up charitable fund for fundraising groups raising over £25,000 a year. You benefit from Prism’s charitable status, and donations can be gift aided to support your global initiatives. You focus on the cause; we provide the administration and governance.