Veronica Fil, a behavioural economist and partner Shaun Quade, a world-renowned chef, are the duo behind Grounded who produce plant-based cheeses that look, taste and feel just like the real thing. The impressive product is made from cauliflower and hemp seeds.
For Grounded, the program set them up to take the next, large, step. Co-founders Veronica Fil and Shaun Quade moved to New York as a participant in the US venture capital fund and start-up accelerator Big Idea Ventures.
The Seeds of Change Accelerator played a monumental role in our startup journey--and gave us the immediate resources that we needed to kickstart our business. I’d highly recommend it to any food business looking for support to start up or grow.
The Grounded team first owned a very successful fine dining restaurant in Melbourne and had been creating vegan cheese as a bit of a side hustle. The team saw a major opportunity to create premium vegan cheese solutions that were clean, free from allergens and were environmentally sustainable.
During the program, the team had access to the large network of experts and mentors which helped them to make strategic business decisions in regards to manufacturing, scale-up, IP management, negotiation and raising finance. Following the cohort's attendance at Global Table in 2019, Grounded met a number of investors. The program helped Grounded to pursue an amazing opportunity with Big Idea Ventures in the US, initially securing US$200,000 in pre-seed investment and a move to New York to develop their products for an international market.
Since relocating to the US, the Grounded team have positioned themselves in California in order to scale their business, get access to new channels and markets and be close to their suppliers of raw materials.
To date the team has raised over $1.7M in funds since mid-June 2020 and have commenced manufacturing of a number of SKUs. Grounded has now launched three specialty vegan cheese products including cheese free cheese sauce, hemp seed goat cheese and hemp seed cream cheese through their direct-to-consumer channel. The team has also increased to five individuals and is looking to expand production this year.