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King’s College graduate brings exciting new cooking sauces to the market 

Yugo Spice is a fledgeling range of worldly gastronomic cooking sauces and pastes, looking to bring some pizzazz to the cooking sauce sector.

Yugo Spice is the brainchild of King’s College graduate, Renad Sheraif, who moved to the UK back in 2013 to study in the UK, which began at King’s College where she studied Economics & Management.

Five years down the line and recently graduated, Renad and her embryonic business are taking their first small but self-assured steps within the UK’s flourishing yet highly combative food scene, taking on a cluster of established category icons and well-heeled multinationals.

And yet in the face of such overwhelming odds Yugo Spice continues to stand tall, having already secured meaningful listings within a cluster of discerning fine food specialists ranging from Wholefoods, Borough Box and The Artisan Food Club (among others).

One of the reasons that Yugo Spices has been able to punch above its weight so early in its timeline comes courtesy of the inspirational King’s20 2019 internship, a life-changing accelerator network run by King’s College that backs 20 of its brightest student business ventures every year.

Launched back in 2016, King’s20 has already raised over £13m in investment and £7m in revenue in addition to employing over 250 people. Back in 2014 Renad had headed up the university’s social enterprise society 2015-17 (Enactus KCL), which she continues to mentor to this day.  Although Renad was aware of the university’s nurturing outlook towards young business ventures with ambitious visions she had no idea that 5 years down the line she would be one of 20 the 2019 winning ventures from an initial pool of 250 submissions.

In addition to office space, weekly coaching from experts in residence, grant funds and access to open-minded investors, the King’s20 will provide a vibrant business hive where disparate yet like-minded entrepreneurs can galvanise and inspire each.

With this is mind, it’s perhaps not unsurprising to learn that King’s won Outstanding Entrepreneurial University 2018 at last year’s Times Higher Education awards. 

According to foodpreneur Renad, ‘It feels right that I’ll be working with the Kings20 Accelerator from September because it was during my time at university that I first identified the opportunity for creating simple, stress-free cooking experiences for curious foodies who lacked the time, know-how or culinary convictions to experiment in the kitchen. Yūgō means ‘fusion’ in Japanese and marries my appreciation for top drawer World Cuisine with an inquisitive enthusiasm to champion improbable flavour marriages that combines some of the finest flavours from a number of the world’s most inspiring culinary powerhouses.’

Such is the strength of King’s 20 convictions that the Entrepreneurship Institute takes a 3% stake in any venture it back, a positive, even altruistic declaration of intent when one considers that any funds generated by these small shareholdings are ploughed straight back into the next internship of brave, young brands identified by the Entrepreneurship Institute.

We hear a lot these days about whether British universities are too detached from today’s complex economic network but here is a rousing and motivational stewardship initiative actively investing in the future.

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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