University of Plymouth Soup

Soup is an international crowdfunding phenomenon that brings communities together to raise small-scale investment to kick-start new businesses or ideas. 

The concept is simple – come along, pay for a bowl of soup, and listen to four investment-hungry businesses pitch their idea. 

Pitchers each have the floor for up to four minutes, and must rely on their passion and speaking abilities alone to win over the audience – no gadgets, giveaways or PowerPoint. The audience can then ask a maximum of four questions to try to establish which business is most worthy of investment.

With the presentations over, soup is served. Now you will have time to network with your fellow soup-funders and mull over the ideas before choosing your favourite. To vote, you’ll just place your empty bowl at the table of the business you feel is most worthy of your investment. 

The winning business gets to take home all the money taken at the door and use it to fund their plans, with the promise they will come back three months later to report on their progress.

The next Soup event will be held as part of the Future Sync conference. If you wish to attend Soup, then please book your ticket via the above link. A joint ticket to attend both the conference and Soup is also available. The Soup event is sponsored by PKF Francis Clark.

Soup events will take place throughout the year in a variety of locations and any future events will be posted on this page.

Soup with University of Plymouth

Soup enables young businesses to pitch their ideas to an audience over a bowl of soup.

GAIN with University of Plymouth introduced the international crowdfunding phenomenon, Soup, to Plymouth for the first time in February 2016.

Find out more about Soup

Interested in pitching your business idea?

If you have a new business idea you’d like to get off the ground, or are a early stage venture in need of investment, you could be a part of Soup. 

Soup is an ideal platform to secure some early-stage investment in your business and the support you need to make your ideas happen. It’s also a great way to practise your pitching and get face-to-face feedback on your business idea. You’ll also have access to members of the GAIN20, an exclusive business network who benefit from access to unique marketing and networking opportunities. This group meets regularly and decides which new members should be invited to join the network, often guided by meetings at events such as Soup.

The winning business will take away a cash prize made up from the takings on the door, as well as a whole range of exclusive opportunities that will give the winning business idea every chance of success. These are provided by partners of the event and include:

Devon Chamber of Commerce offers a 12 month mini membership to Soup winners which includes:

  • access to free events – except City Conversations
  • member rate to paid events, export documents, meeting room hire and advertising
  • inclusion in the BCC quarterly economic survey
  • a profile on the Devon Chamber of Commerce website
  • copy of Chamber Profile Magazine
  • 3 x 1 hour expert sessions, from a choice of: Accounting, Business Growth, Marketing, Social Media, Business Planning, Health & Safety, HR and Raising Funds.

Prize winners will have the option to take their place in Plymouth’s only award-winning accredited business incubator, Formation Zone at the University of Plymouth. This includes:

  • a two month Formation Zone package, which includes all of the professional advice and needed to get a business going
  • access to our dedicated workspace to help make your business more productive as well as giving access to a board room and postal address, making your business look and feel more professional
  • access to a community network of like-minded start-up companies, and the support includes monthly clinics with experts in accounting, business, intellectual property, leadership and management.

Futures Entrepreneurship Centre is providing free access to their new and exciting business start-up support service: the BETA Enterprise programme. This includes:

  • access to a comprehensive programme of business events on innovation, global thinking, sustainability, ethics and entrepreneurialism
  • one-to-one mentoring from experts in their field
  • interactive workshops.

Through the programme entrepreneurs develop their skills in and understanding of; developing a business plan, self-motivation, time management, business ideation, using social media as a professional networking and marketing tool, the legal necessities involved to successfully start a business, alternative funding options, international trade, importing/exporting and entrepreneurial resilience.

If you would like to be considered for one of the pitching places available at Soup, please complete the application form.