UCL School of Management

8 October 2015

Sir Richard Branson awards start-up by alumni

Double Dutch at the Virgin Startup 2015 Foodpreneur Festival
Raissa and Joyce de Haas (pictured left) at the Virgin StartUp 2015 Foodpreneur Festival. Image courtesy of virginstartup.org

Double Dutch founders and School of Management alumni, Raissa and Joyce de Haas, were among the winners at the Virgin StartUp 2015 Foodpreneur Festival, which celebrates the most creative, inspiring and disruptive food and drink start-ups in Britain.

Double Dutch offers an innovative range of premium soft drink mixers for premium spirits and is already a favourite at high-end bars and restaurants across London.

As winners of the Retail category, twins Raissa and Joyce, will now travel to the US and pitch to buyers at Target Corporation, for their chance to trial their product across one of America’s leading chain stores.

The twins faced a panel of top entrepreneurs to claim the prize, which included Ella’s Kitchen founder Paul Lindley, Urban Food Fest founder Jessica Tucker, Appear Here founder Ross Bailey as well as Sir Richard Branson himself.

Joyce de Haas, Double Dutch co-founder, said: “It’s a great honour to be awarded by Sir Richard Branson and it motivates us to grow our business even further. We currently have a big focus on international expansion and we think there is a great opportunity in the US for tequila mixers that make the spirit more accessible for end-consumers.

Without the MSc Technology Entrepreneurship and the UCL Bright Ideas Award, we would probably have never been able to pursue our business. During our year at UCL we really got the opportunity to devote our time, learning and UCL resources to explore our business idea.”

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder said: “This year’s Foodpreneur finalists showed great innovation and meeting the great minds behind each idea has been inspiring. The standard of entries was very high but the winners really stood out for their passion and pioneering businesses.”

Last updated Thursday, 10 December 2015