Pineapple invites innovative social purpose businesses to its first Founders' Day


On 31 January, we hosted our first Founders' Day to select social entrepreneurs into our Pineapple HotHouse programme. Our five stages outlined below will help to create more innovative businesses with a social purpose by partnering start-ups with corporates, financiers and industry enablers.

"We felt privileged to take part in the Founders Day. Having a team of esteemed experts who are also dedicated to help our society was amazing." Maggie Sikora, Mapis

We were introduced to Maggie Sikora of Mapis Project and Peter Sikora of Suit2Go, Nic Woodhams of Adventure Pass and Martin Bellamy of Solapak Systems via the Innovate UK conference, Connect Reading and Grow@GreenPark. To whom we would like to thank. We invited the Founders to join the Pineapple team at Reading's much-loved Thames Lido, for an afternoon of presentations and advisory sessions, followed by drinks. Sadly, there was no time for a dip in the hot tub.



Welcome to the Pineapple Den


"I really like the informal and personal structure of the Founders' day. It was a great way to meet the Pineapple team face-to-face. A great collection of people with a powerful combination of skills."

Martin Bellamy, Solapak Systems


The founders pitched their business ideas to the Pineapple team in a friendly and relaxed environment. Here's a bit about each organisation.


Empowering the most disadvantaged communities

Mapis Project is a not-for-profit education and training provider, working with the most deprived young people and adults across Berkshire. They help these people to get life-ready, then job-ready for employment in retail, fashion and beauty.

Suit2Go is a new spin out service from Mapis offering a suit dressing and styling service for unemployed men who have managed to secure a job or apprenticeship interview.

Improving access to outdoor communities for young people

Adventure Pass is an app and web portal for renting action sports equipment and booking tuition. It aims to inspire people to try new outdoor activities by making it easier and cheaper to do so and in turn driving more demand to rental shops and schools.

Bringing solar energy to the developing world

Solapak Systems provides stand-alone solar electricity solutions that can be used almost anywhere. With 1.2 billion people in the world without access to modern energy supplies, they will create a commercial framework to supply high volumes of profitable energy services into the developing world; and beyond.

'Speed dating' style Seed Sessions

"Each session, though short, was packed full of absolute gems of wisdom and brought the conceptual element of the company on leaps and bounds. For Adventure Pass something like that once a quarter would be incredibly useful." Nic Woodhams, Adventure Pass

Each founder attended five Seed Sessions to briefly discuss challenges and solutions around different elements of their business, including:

Founder Centric approach

The founders also had an opportunity to attend a Founder Appraisal Session. This enabled us to find out more about what makes them tick and in return, they were able to benefit from some free mentoring and coaching. At Pineapple, our approach is to be Founder centric, not infrastructure centric. In our view, this is the only way to successfully create and scale business.

What next?

The founders receive their Pineapple Pack of juicy feedback from the day, outlining the challenges, solutions and how Pineapple could help.

About Pineapple

Pictured left to right: Catherine Chan, Camilla Lovell-Hoare, Paul White, Alexandra Dewis, Andy Dewis, Mat Rule and Liberty Bollen

Pineapple is a team of people with a shared passion to create more innovative businesses with social purpose. We provide a journey to impact where start-ups can partner with corporates, financiers and industry enablers. Social entrepreneurs are supported by Pineapple through all business stages - from seed (idea) to greenhouse (start-up) through to plantation (SME/Large).

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