Yinka Makinde, founder of Vital Footprint, talks about her journey with Entrepreneur Academe.

Yinka Makinde(Vitalfootprint revolutionises the way restaurants increase footfall through interactive food information, one dish at a time!)

I had the privilege to be accepted on to the EA programme in April. Meeting 18 other lovely female led start-ups has been refreshing and inspiring. What EA has provided is a formidable network of [mainly] female entrepreneurs and mentors to provide moral support, expertise and constructive critique.

What you get out of EA is directly related to what you put in, and how you interact with the network. The mentors are approachable and eager to assist where they can, as are my fellow entrepreneurs. In particular, I’ve benefited from a handful of individuals who’ve made highly valuable introductions for me to both angel investors and potential new clients and whom have been generous with their time.

One of my motivations for applying to EA was that I was seeking funding to enable me to grow a power team to move the business development and sales activities on at a faster pace. My start-up, Vitalfootprint, is a foodtech business that leverages new and emerging EU legislation to help food service operators share food information from its supply chain more consistently and accurately with staff and customers. There are over 300,000 food service operators in the UK and we have a unique opportunity to define this market space with respect to solving the problem of regulatory compliance. To do this my immediate priorities include:

  • Closing contracts with new clients
  • Recruiting a co-founder with complementary skills and experience to my own
  • Completing our £150k SEIS funding round

Recently at Vital Footprint, we’ve been refining our proposition whilst working with Bill’s restaurants; pitching for business with other major brands, exploring partnership opportunities with for example Epos system providers, and trying to raise funding, all with a solo founder. My goal is to find a Co-founder with strong Sales & Commercial Acumen to work with me to help build Vitalfootprint. There are a number of exciting opportunities that I am progressing and hope to have a signed contract with a large client by the end of 2015. Simultaneously, the next couple of months will be spent generating buzz and awareness around the Eatoy app which currently has the menus of 10 brands published on it. This is so that by the time we reach January 2016 (detox month), we’re ready to officially launch.

What I have learned is that for Vitalfootprint we need to attack the problem we seek to solve from two angles, the Client and the app user.

As we wind up EA 2015, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish my fellow EA entrepreneurs all the very best for their respective start-ups, there are amongst them some fabulous concepts. Thank you Sarah, Simon, Sophie and all the mentors for your continued belief and support.