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Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

Contents

Some months ago I had my arm twisted by our PR Manager, Jessica, that I should put myself up in the Food & Drink category of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards (GBEA).So I put pen to paper and basically relayed my part in the Kafoodle Journey to date including some detail about the wins and the pitfalls in what my business partner Tarryn and I affectionately dub ‘startupland’ - an amazing and at the same time scary place from where no-one ever escapes unchanged.Then a month or so later I get an email to say that I have been shortlisted, and I am genuinely flabbergasted, especially when I see the brilliant businesses and entrepreneurs that I had the honour of being up against.A few weeks before the GBEA Awards I was invited by one the sponsors to an event at The House of Lords (as you do!) by what I now know to be a great network of entrepreneurs called the E2Exchange which was founded by a most talented lady, Shilini Khemka. Shilini subsequently invited me to join her at the awards dinner as her guest and I was delighted to accept.The actual evening at the awards ceremony was excellent and made especially good by the people around my table - it’s just great to be surrounded by such success and entrepreneurship. Apart from the actual award presentations Shilini hosted a panel made up of Toni Mascolo of Toni & Guy, Simon Woodroffe OBE, founder of Yo Sushi & Troy Collins, co-founder of Secret Escapes. It was so refreshing to actually listen to a panel of successful people talking about the passion behind their successes, especially the lovely Toni Mascolo who, at 73, was as passionate telling us about store number 500 as he must have been about store number 1!The evening progressed and that big moment arrived, and my name was read out loud from the shortlist by serial entrepreneur Olli Barrett who co-hosted the evening with the extremely bubbly and talented business woman Caprice. That was it, my evening was complete!I was so preoccupied at that point and totally convinced that my moment of fame had passed that when they called out the names of the winners and in silver place Caprice simply said “it’s Kim... Kim Antoniou from Kafoodle - cool name!” - I nearly missed it!The gold winners in the category were the highly successful Alex & Kity Shepherd from Startisans - many congratulations to both of you and to be honest after having only a spent a year to date in ‘startupland I was more than honoured to follow them.Actually, looking back at the year gone by, I have managed to achieve a great deal with Kafoodle - new relationships with major companies in the food and drink industry, a host of new features for the Kafoodle Kitchen software and App, trade exhibitions, team expansion, and widespread recognition in the press to name but a few.

Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 - Silver

So now, the award is sitting nicely on my kitchen windowsill, well until tomorrow that is when I have to take it to the office to sit proudly alongside our other award - the Food Allergy Awareness Award which we were delighted to win at the Takeaway Expo earlier this year.Thank you so much to the judges for your support and acknowledgement and thank you to our app users, you are the acid test and when we get emails from you saying that we have changed our lives and the way that you can eat out now I am overwhelmed with pride.This is just the beginning of the story and our journey. We have a sensible software solution for the food and drink industry (a business that does not naturally take very easily to new technologies) and through the Kafoodle App, diners can use search functions for allergy and nutrition to find dishes that suit their dietary requirements. Over the next months you will see something that evolves into a most intelligent and informative tool and something that I for one hope that will eventually help to create a trust so that we can ultimately all eat with confidence.

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