Julian Hearn, founder of Huel – which has sold 115m of its nutritionally-complete meals online and in supermarkets – spoke about scaling rapidly in the UK and overseas at our virtual interactive event for Fast Track 100 alumni from the London region last night.
Guests included James Turford of Nested; Claudia Santagada of Itsu [grocery]; and Martin Woolley, of The Specialist Works.
Julian is a serial entrepreneur who launched Huel in 2015 after selling his first digital marketing business for more than $10m. In 2018 he secured a £20m investment for a minority stake from Highland Europe, which valued Huel at £220m. Sales have risen an average of 131% a year for the last three years to hit £72m in 2020, and are forecast to hit £100m.
He spoke about how establishing a board and bringing senior expertise into the business early had helped to support fast growth, saying: “Scaling a business is tough, a key thing we did right was to set up a board really early – which for start-ups is rare.”
Virtual networking & roundtables
35 founders, chief executives and directors who took part “networked” the guest list by requesting 1:1 short video calls. They also joined small virtual breakout discussions to share their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic, with sponsor representatives facilitating the conversations.
A word from our sponsors
Stuart Lisle, senior tax partner at BDO, welcomed guests to the event. He said: “We passionately believe in the power of the mid-sized entrepreneurially spirited-companies that make up the economic engine of the UK. You guys outperform the big companies in the FTSE and the micro companies time and time again – you do great things and that’s why we love working with you.”
Megan Paul, partner at Charles Russell Speechlys, paid tribute to Fast Track 100 companies and said: “Seeing the scalability and growth from these fantastic owners, founders, and CEOs – we really appreciate it takes everything out of you to be growing these business in the way you do, to such acclaim and such success.”
More information on Fast Track 100
For more information about the Fast Track 100 league table and events programme, see: https://www.fasttrack.co.uk/league-tables/fast-track-100/
For more information about our alumni events and opportunities for sponsorship, visit our sponsorship page: https://www.fasttrack.co.uk/sponsorship/