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26 April 2016

Informatics student creates successful start-up

From the King's Graduate School Newsletter

Cinnamon, mint and chillies
Herbs and spices

Fancy having dinner cooked for you and your friends by a professional chef? Sounds great doesn’t it? Well, EatAbout, the winner of this year’s Lion’s Den Challenge Best Start-up, enables you to do just that. At an awards ceremony held at the House of Lords last month, the company was announced as the winner of this year’s top prize worth £3,500.

Co-founded by Philip Källberg, a current Master's student from the Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences, EatAbout is an innovative food start-up putting diners in direct contact with chefs.

To celebrate his recent success, King's Graduate School caught up with Philip to discuss EatAbout, starting a Master's and a business at the same time, and why London is the perfect place to do both.

How would you describe EatAbout for someone who hasn’t heard of it?
EatAbout is democratising eating out by empowering chefs to host guests in their home, and we've been dubbed the "Airbnb of restaurants". Our guests get better value than restaurants, higher quality ingredients and actually get to meet the chef preparing their food.

Why did you feel it was important to get a Master's at this point in your career, while simultaneously setting up EatAbout?
I've always loved working at the intersection of business and technology, and a Masters in Advanced Computing helps me improve and formalise a lot of the knowledge I've picked up over the years. These skills have been essential for us to get EatAbout to where it is today so quickly.

What was it that attracted you to King’s?
Along with its stellar location, I love the fact that King's has a thriving entrepreneurial community and the practical nature of their courses.

Other than the Lion’s Den Challenge, were there any other initiatives at King’s that helped you to grow EatAbout?
King’s Incubator has been a fantastic resource for us - meeting so many other people in similar positions, frequent master-classes and free office space has really helped us excel.

What is it about London that makes it a great a place to be a student, entrepreneur or foodie?
London is perfect for us because it's such a melting pot of people, ideas and industries, and this is what a company like EatAbout relies on. I grew up living in 8 countries on 4 continents, and have yet to find a city that competes on this level.

Do you have any advice for students who think they might have a business idea but don’t know where to start?
For us it's always been about focus, doing one thing and doing it really well. We've seen so many start-ups come and go because they try to be everything to everyone, but really you should find a core group of people who love what you do and expand from there.

Feeling hungry? Enjoy your own private meal in the home of a chef with EatAbout.

If you would like to know more, sign up for "Being an unconventional entrepreneur: start your journey" taking place 17 May 2016 at 18:00.