Instant funding at Soup pitching event

Pennie Raven, founder of Sheffield Soup
Pennie Raven, founder of Sheffield Soup

Entrepreneurs are being urged to pitch up to a new event in Sheffield that combines the Dragons’ Den, crowdfunding - and soup.

Four contestants get four minutes to talk about an idea to improve life in the city.

A paying audience then decides who gets to go home with the money taken on the door - after a bowl of soup made by Silversmiths restaurant.

Organisers hope 150 people paying a minimum of £5 will attend, creating a £750 minimum prize pot.

The ‘Soup’ concept started in Detroit after the city went bust. It is being brought to Sheffield by businesswoman Pennie Raven, owner of HR Guardian Angels.

She said: “Soup is looking to fund ideas that improve community, urban life, the environment or social justice. It can also fund a start-up business or an idea that helps an existing business.

“I was compelled to bring the concept to the people of Sheffield, the ‘just get on with it’ spirit is perfect for this kind of community collaboration.

“It’s an independent micro-economy with instant results, wrapped up in a fun, social evening where art, community, business and political dialogue become action.”

The aim is for Soup to spread across the region and establish independent groups in communities, she added.

Sheffield Soup is a voluntary organisation with a six-strong advisory panel of business people: Pennie Raven, Christopher Hill of Element, Hugh Mann Adamson of Ltbl Productions, Justin Rowntree of Silversmiths Restaurant, Jennie Swift, of Black Box Productions and Brian Trevaskiss of MoreComputers.

The first event is at the Printhouse, North Church Lane, Sheffield, and includes a set by acoustic band The Clear.