Hannah Fisher and Craig Strachan
The Start-Up Drinks Lab
Hannah Fisher and Craig Strachan first met in Entrepreneurial Spark in 2016. They were both entrepreneurs launching their own soft drinks companies and quickly discovered they had the same problem: they couldn’t find a suitable facility to help them develop, test and manufacture their products. The duo decided to launch their own solution to this problem and in January 2017 formed The Start-Up Drinks Lab.
The Start-Up Drinks Lab is an ideas factory with the mission of ensuring that all great craft soda ideas can make it to market. The company will offer an end-to-end service, including product development, manufacturing, packaging, storage facilities and collaborative routes to market for all craft soda producers. You can pick and choose which services you need – be that concept to shelf, or anything in between. This will be done with the vision of retaining accessibility all under one roof. They have since opened their new Port Glasgow facility in early 2018.
Both Craig (BA Hons, Accounting & Finance) and Hannah (BA Hons, Marketing & Finance) are Strathclyde graduates and 2017 SEN Rising Stars.
What advice do you have for budding entrepreneurs?
Don’t be afraid to take risks and tackle your problems head on! It would have been easy for us to just accept we couldn’t find an accessible manufacturer and that the multinationals would continue to dominate. Instead we turned our problem into an opportunity and are confident we can help all craft soda producers bring provenance and experimental flavours to the market.
How has the Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network (SEN) helped you on your entrepreneurial journey?
SEN has been a fantastic help on our entrepreneurial journey to date. From initial introductions they have been extremely supportive (not to mention friendly) and continually look for ways that they or their network can benefit the Drinks Lab. We were fortunate enough to be granted a place on the Rising Stars programme in September 2018 and this has been of huge benefit. We’ve managed to plug into a great network of mentors, have had introductions to potential funders, attended some great learning sessions, presented to a fantastic crowd at S100, and met and work with other inspirational entrepreneurs.
- Scottish EDGE Round11 (semi) Finalists
- Scottish Enterprise Collaboration Prize Winners 2017
- Finalists for Virgin VOOM pitch off 2017
- Finalists for SIS Pitch for Purpose 2017
- Finalists for Great British Entrepreneur Awards #GoDo category
- Scottish EDGE Round 10 semi finalists
- Scottish EDGE Round 12 Winners
- Scottish Enterprise Unlocking Ambition Challenge Winners 2018
- Best Food & Drink Company at Made in Scotland Awards 2019
- Most Promising New Business at Inverclyde Bees Knees Awards 2019
View their official webpage here: The Start-Up Drinks Lab