Richard Reed is the co-founder of Innocent Drinks, a smoothie and fruit drinks company that became one of the UK's most remarkable business success stories of recent years. Despite having no experience of running his own business, no financial backing, and a product with a very short shelf life, Richard, together with two friends, turned a tiny start-up company into a major international player with a turnover in excess of £10 million.
Innocent was founded by Richard with two fellow Cambridge University graduates: Adam Balon and Jon Wright. All three had left university and were working in consulting and advertising when, in 1999, after spending six months working on smoothie recipes and £500 on fruit, the trio sold their drinks from a stall at a music festival in London. People were asked to put their empty bottles in a 'yes' or 'no' bin depending on whether they thought the three should quit their jobs to make smoothies. At the end of the festival the 'yes' bin was full, with only three cups in the 'no' bin, so they took the plunge into smoothies and resigned from their jobs the very next day. The three struggled to find investment, but eventually had a lucky break when Maurice Pinto, a wealthy American businessman, decided to invest £250,000. In total, it took fifteen months from the initial idea to taking the product to market.
In 2009, Innocent Drinks sold a stake of 18% to Coca-Cola Company for £30 million, increasing this to 58% in 2010 for about £65 million. In 2013, Coca-Cola increased their stake to over 90%.
Richard speaks at conferences all around the world and tells the story of how one small idea became a very big liquid asset. His is a highly popular Motivational Speaker, as the following positive feedback from the Connect Europe 2012 Conference testifies: "I just wanted to drop you a line to say a massive thank you to your splendid speakers. We received some amazing feedback for the event! Richard Reed went down brilliantly. Everyone thought he was refreshingly candid and honest and he inspired the group with his story of zero to hero. I think everyone walked away feeling like they could conquer the world! So a big thanks for getting everything together for this event, it really is massively appreciated!"
To book Richard as a Business Speaker/Motivational Speaker for your Conference or Corporate Event, contact Prime Performers via the online booking enquiry form or alternatively call us on 020 7251 8222 to discuss your requirements.
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The Rt Hon Christopher Patten
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