Cambridge start-up shows Whey Forward

Published: 21 November 2012 at 13:24

Anglia Ruskin competition winner launches online health supplement business

Young Cambridge entrepreneur Joe Faulkner-Edwards has launched a new online health supplement business thanks to £18,000 of funding from Anglia Ruskin University.

After impressing the judges of last year’s Enterprise Fellowship Scheme, Joe Faulkner-Edwards received financial backing, as well as mentoring and support, from the Centre for Enterprise Development and Research (CEDAR) based at Anglia Ruskin’s Lord Ashcroft International Business School.

The Enterprise Fellowship Scheme is sponsored by a private benefactor and the winners are chosen by a panel of judges including Dr Walter Herriot OBE, Director of the CEDAR Entrepreneur in Residence network, and Peter Taylor, Managing Director of the TTP Group plc.

Joe’s business, Whey Forward Health Industries ltd, specialises in formulas that combine whey with vitamins and minerals.  Whey Forward, a corporate partner of the National Osteoporosis Society’s Bone Health Partnership, is aimed at improving immune function and enhancing quality of life, primarily for the ageing population.  

Joe, who is also a freelance health and fitness writer as well as a qualified personal trainer, said:

“Through my research for various articles about nutrition, I unearthed the extensive health benefits of whey.  When creating fitness and nutrition plans for some older clients I would always highlight the importance of whey to be used as a dietary supplement to help promote immune function and prevent the loss of lean tissue associated with age.
“It was clear that the branding and marketing of whey products targeted at athletes and fitness enthusiasts brought negative connotations within the older population.  The huge tubs, large serving sizes and images of muscle-bound men were enough to put them off.  This led me to research whey in more detail: its benefits, how it is manufactured, and the current market structure.  It was clear to me that there was a huge gap in the market.
“The capital awarded and the unrivalled level of advice and expertise offered as a result of winning the Enterprise Fellowship Scheme has enabled me to transition from what was a promising idea to launching a realistically sustainable business – a step I would have struggled to achieve alone.  Knowing I have the CEDAR team for advice and support is very encouraging.”

The final of this year’s Enterprise Fellowship Scheme will take place in Cambridge on Tuesday, 11 December and will see four businesses pitch their ideas to a panel of judges for a share of the £36,500 remaining in this year’s pot.

The finalists consist of an online investment tool for business angels, an app for socialising, a restaurant discount website and a walking aid for the elderly.

Ben Mumby-Croft, Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin and Deputy Director of CEDAR, said:
“We’re delighted to be running the CEDAR Enterprise Fellowship Scheme for a second year. The success of entrepreneurs like Joe and his new venture is proof that the scheme really works and provides an important launchpad for entrepreneurial talent to get innovative new start-up ventures off the ground.”