Bakery brand Warburtons has launched a new venture designed to support businesses with innovative baked products.

Batch Ventures is a joint project with leading independent business accelerator Mission Ventures.

Designed to support the growth of SMEs and start-ups, Batch Ventures combines equity funding together with hands-on support from successful entrepreneurs and industry professionals. The partners are looking for businesses that incorporate baking in their production process - from traditional baked goods, such as breads, crackers and biscuits to cookie dough, baking kits and baked snacks. Successful applicants will be judged on their future potential.

Jonathan Warburton, chairman of Warburtons, said: “As a fifth-generation family business, we are proud to be backing British enterprise during these uncertain times and this programme allows us to support the next generation of innovative bakery led brands.”

Paddy Willis, CEO of Mission Ventures, added: “We are excited to be partnered with Warburtons, one of the top five food brands in the UK today. We see this as a smart way for the industry to build compelling challenger brands that deliver true innovation. This partnership leverages my team’s experience as exited food entrepreneurs and six years of running food and drink accelerator programmes, together with the depth of industry experience that comes from Warburtons.”

Brand owners are invited to express their interest in applying via the Mission Ventures website, with initial selection expected over the Summer. The partners expect that up to five businesses will be selected over the first twelve months.

Mission Ventures' three directors have independently co-founded and successfully exited their own challenger brands for a combined total in excess of £50m. Paddy Willis (Plum Baby), Nigel Parrott (Ape Snacks) and John Stapleton (New Covent Garden Soup Company and Little Dish) are committed to delivering entrepreneurial solutions to help other Founders achieve their ambitions. The UK’s first independent accelerator for food and drink, they are the delivery partner for the recently announced Good Food Fund, backed by Big Society Capital and Guys & St Thomas’s Charity to pilot market-led solutions to childhood obesity.

Established in 1876, Warburtons is a fifth generation family business which is still owned and managed by Jonathan, Ross and Brett Warburton. The brand has more than doubled in size over the last 20 years and is now the UK’s largest bakery brand and the fifth largest UK food brand. Recognised as leading innovation in the bakery category, half their sales now come from other wrapped bakery products such as crumpets, bagels and thins. Warburtons has 27 sites across the country and deliver over 2m bakery products to over 20,000 stores each day.

For more information please contact:

Paddy WillisPaddy@missionventures.co.uk07768 503408