Escape Heroes doing brilliant things: November spotlight

Every month, our Head of Alumni, Stacey, sends an exclusive newsletter to the thousand-plus individuals that have graduated from The Escape School and have gone on to make inspiring career changers and build brilliant businesses.

Take a look at what our Alumni have been getting up to this month and see the connections and support that are made from being part of the community.

The Mood Club & Autsera featured in The Evening Standard

Kudos to Federica Trimarchi (Founder of The Mood Club, Startup Accelerator – Sept 2017) and Inas Ismail (Founder of Autsera, Startup Accelerator – Jan 2018) for their features in the Evening Standard this month!

Federica and Inas both share how their passion has fuelled their businesses and practical ways they turned their start-up dreams into a reality.

Last day to vote for Earth Changers

Earth Changers, founded by Vicky Smith (Startup Accelerator – May 2016), has been nominated for Best Travel & Tourism website in the Travel Mole UK Tourism Awards 2019. Vote here!

Lazy Flora is crowdfunding on Seedrs

Kudos to Founder Claire Ransom (Startup Accelerator – May 2016). Find out more and pre-register to invest here.

lazy flora

Circla Launch at Luton airport

Good luck to Claudia Gwinnutt (Startup Accelerator – May 2018) who’s launching her reusable travel miniatures business Circla at Luton airport later this month!

Stocked in Sainsbury’s

Congrats to Kerstin Robinson (Startup Accelerator -Sept 2014) for getting Nix&Kix’s latest flavour, Watermelon and Hibiscus, stocked in Sainsbury’s. Buy now!

nix and kix

Wedding Coordinator of the Year

Danielle Goodall-Stroud (Founding Member 2014) escaped the city to work at a local, independent wedding venue. Her colleagues have been shortlisted for Wedding Coordinator of the Year 2019. Vote here for Jennie Hopcroft & Natasha Pollard – Hedsor House.

Pip & Nut has become a B-Corp

Pip & Nut has become a B-Corp! Kudos to Pippa Murray (Escape To The Shed Winner – 2014) for taking responsibility for their impact on the world around them as a business.

pippa murray

Start-up collaboration

Usman Omar (StrartUp Accelerator – Sept 2016) is collaborating with a colleague on a new startup selling plant-based skincare for men. Check out Talisman.

Dream role landed at Girl Guiding

Alex Borwick (Career Change Accelerator – Feb 2019) left her job part-way through the Career Change programme and has since landed (hustled!) a dream role with Girl Guiding.

Zero Waste Christmas Market

Escape friend Mel Fisher is back for a second year and going even bigger with markets in London (4th & 7th Dec), Manchester (29th & 30th Nov) and Brighton (15th Dec). Find the best seasonal gifts from local zero waste brands dedicated to the planet, along with talks, tastings, workshops and festive entertainment. Get your tickets here!

Pop-up boutique success

Congratulations to Anthea Kolitsas (Startup Accelerator – Sept 2018) for her successful Project Happy Note pop-up boutique at We Built This City on Carnaby Street this October.

project happy note

Follow the startup journey of guilt-free treats, Lexi

Alexei Khatiwada (Startup Accelerator – May 2019) is hustling hard to get his crispy treats startup off the ground. He’s sharing his journey on social with great tips and tricks for all foodie-preneurs out there.

Follow Lexi’s here and view this particular post about Alexei’s experience with the Escape Startup programme.

lexi treats

Market research support needed

Katie Neal (Startup Accelerator – Sept 2015) is conducting market research for her body and personal care startup. Complete her survey here.

New agency launch!

Joana Petrova (Startup Accelerator – Jan 2017) has started her own agency – Just Say Marketing.

Ethical business: Y.O.U underwear

Sarah Jordan (Startup Accelerator – Sept 2014) is running a wonderful business Y.O.U underwear. Y.O.U uses super soft 100% organic, Fairtrade and GOTS certified and PETA-approved cotton that is breathable and kind to your skin, and only work with fully sustainable and ethical manufacturers. Buy one and they donate two via their partnership with charity Smalls For All.

you underwear

A new contract with HSBC

Kudos to Don Hunter (Startup Accelerator – Sept 2017) who’s just started a contract with HSBC, is training for ironman, becoming a part-time policeman and doing a writing course to finish his novel!

Arts and culture in the Square Mile

Chris Rolls (Startup Accelerator – Jan 2017) is working at 64 Million Artists, consulting with workers in the City of London about their engagement with arts and culture in the Square Mile. If you work in the City and would like to get involved, get in touch.

Trustee opportunity

Andrea Gamson (Startup Accelerator – Sept 2014) is looking for a trustee for _SocialStarters International. Find more about the opportunity here.

Turtle Sodas are now live on Farmdrop!

Congrats to founder Caitlin Egen (Startup Accelerator – Sept 2017) – Turtle Sodas are now live on Farmdrop for London foodies.

turtle sodas

Press success for Lilla Rugs

Kudos to Camilla Ahwazian (Startup Accelerator – Sept 2017) for several Lilla Rugs features in home magazines last month!

New business start-up!

Dev Sopal (Career Change Accelerator – Jan 2017) set up his own Independent Mortgage Advisory, Utopia Financial Partners. No fee for escapees.

Workshop with Mastercard

Kudos to Victoria Smith-Murphy (Career Change Accelerator  Sept 2015) for a successful workshop at Mastercard this month called ‘The power of intuition in a world obsessed with logic’.

Exceeded crowdfunding target

Ruth Wainwright (completed Escape’s Get Unstuck Weekend in Italy) has smashed her crowdfunding target for The Feminist Bookshop and cafe in Brighton. Join the party as they extend their funding target here.feminist bookshop

Future of Dining

Congratulations to Deepak Ravindran (Founder of Oddbox, Startup Accelerator -April 2015), for his latest speaking gig at We Work’s Future of Dining event this week.

New business launch

Congrats to Gillian Roche-Saunders (Startup Accelerator – Jan 2016) for launching her compliance consultancy business Adempi, offering hands-on support and specialist advice to financial services firms on the regulatory issues affecting them.

Bom pure Asian Food

Kieu-My Pham Thai (SUP Jan 2017) has set up a mission-driven boutique catering company dedicated to wholesome world flavours: Bom. Based in Bermondsey, they focus on community, health and environment. And they’ve already catered at events for Serpentine Galleries, Big Society Capital and Impact Hub!

bom asian food

Expat Taxback

Kudos to Kit MacInnes-Manby (Career Change Accelerator – Sept 2018), cofounder of Expat Taxback, for their soft launch and first sales last month!

Crowdfunding opening in two weeks

Totstable (founded by Sam Cooney, Startup Accelerator – Jan 2019) offers a unique weaning plan designed by a paediatric dietitian. They cook, freeze and deliver fresh healthy food in portioned cubes perfect for mixing and matching to create yummy, balanced meals, full of the nutrition your baby needs to grow and thrive… helping them on their journey to the Big Table! Crowdfunding opens in two weeks!

ActionAble: Old clothes, New Me

Nicky Dunlop (Career Change Accelerator – Feb 2018) is co-hosting this upcoming event to spread the truth about sustainable fashion. Register for a free ticket here. At the end of the evening, you’ll get a taste for what sustainable fashion looks like with a clothes swap!

The environmental impact of Christmas

The Sustainability Network, (co-founded by Cecily Hewlett, Founding Member 2014, and Christina De Poitiers, Career Change Accelerator Apr 2015), are hosting their third event exploring the environmental impact of Christmas. Co-design a plan for a greener Christmas and discuss ways to help spread the message. Tickets here.

Diversity in Recruitment Umbrella Launch Party: 28th November

Nancy Roberts (Startup Accelerator – Sept 2018) is launching her new diversity and inclusion platform Umbrella. Join D&I professionals, HR leaders and allies to hear about brand new research, test your D&I knowledge, and participate in a live data crowdsource! An informal, informative evening for anyone interested in improving diversity and inclusion in their workplace. Get your free ticket here.


Find out more about The Escape Alumni: 21 Century career rebels changing the world for the better.

If you’re looking to join a vibrant community of people doing things differently, sign-up to receive our fortnighty newsletter of all the latest and greatest startup advice, tools & stories from escape heroes.

You can also explore our Escape programmes for structured support to start a business or change a career with likeminded escapees and coaches.

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