This week The Good Kitchen relocated to an abandoned warehouse in Elephant & Castle. Not because we've lost our office space, but to host our first ever TGK Bootcamp - an accelerator week for social entrepreneurs tackling food insecurity. 

Having stood out from over 100 applications and successfully impressed a judging panel of food and innovation experts, the final five startups joined us from across the globe, bringing energy and enthusiasm to the week. 

Something that has been evident all week is that although all unique these equally brilliant startups all have something in common, and that's the determination to transform our food system and change the way we think about food. 

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It's been an action-packed week with sessions and workshops carefully designed to equip the cohort with new skills and creating opportunities to make connections that will help them grow.

Beginning the week, we went back to business basics with Ed Cooper and Simon Derry from Vital Six, who introduced the cohort to the Product-Market Matrix and understanding the correct growth strategy for their own businesses.

Day Two was led by Bonnie Chiu, Managing Director at The Social Investment Centre, who asked our social enterprises to map out their theory of change with the key activities that will enable them to achieve their long-term goals, and reminded us of the importance of social impact measurement. Then we heard from Joe Kallarackal from the International Centre for Social Franchising on knowing when and how to scale your impact. 

Wednesday kicked off with breakfast with Kevin Duffy, Co-Founder of Winnow, who shared his journey to setting up the successful food business that still has its social mission embedded at its core. The rest of the day was led by Lewis Tasker, a HR guru, who played a sneaky trick on the group to show that great leadership is about actively listening and treating each member of your team as an individual. 

Thursday was all about getting investment ready and Vital Six came back to the warehouse to answer the all-important finance questions and offer tips on perfecting the pitch. At lunchtime, we were lucky enough to be joined by Thom Van Every, who has successfully built and then exited from his company Dr Thom. His number one tip for our entrepreneurs: staying physically fit. 

In the afternoon a selection of impact investors and foundations joined us at the bootcamp for a speed dating session, where each startup delivered an impressive pitch and then had the chance to speak to interested investors. Thursday ended with a well-deserved drinks reception with friends of The Good Kitchen as a way of us saying a big thank you to all of our supporters. 

Negotiation tactics was the final topic of the week on Friday morning, led by Bruno Tromeur from KellyDeli, with a reminder that negotiation is not about having more 'points' than the other, but making sure you have the 'points' that you need. 

As the week comes to a close and our startups look at developing an action plan for the next six months, we've certainly been left inspired and are incredibly excited to see where these social entrepreneurs will go. 

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