Co-founder of Innocent Drinks, Richard Reed and his University friends engineered the company from a small stand at a music festival to an internationally renowned and respected giant. The charitable company is leading the healthy eating trend. Since leaving Innocent, the entrepreneur is now the co-founder of JamJar investments. Richard is an expert keynote speaker on topics such as on leadership, innovation and branding.
Richard Reed was one of the founding partners of Innocent Drinks, an international company producing fresh fruit smoothies and vegetable pots, which he created alongside his two University friends. Now one of the founding partners of Jam Jar investments, Richard uses his venture capital company to pave the way for the next generation of entrepreneurs. He is a remarkable keynote speaker and ideal for events with a focus on business, entrepreneurial spirit, marketing, leadership and corporate social responsibility.
Richard began his career as an entrepreneur at a young age when he set up a local gardening company one summer called ‘Two Men Went to Mow’, he employed his school friends to work for the company. He attended Cambridge University where he met his future business partners Adam Balon and Jon Wright.
After graduating the trio decided to set up a fresh fruit company and spent six months in their kitchen improving their recipes. When the time had come to test their smoothies on a wider audience, the boys decided to take a stall at a music festival and sold their smoothies. Beside the stall they had a sign that said 'Should we give up our jobs to make these smoothies?' Next to the sign there was a YES bin and a NO bin. When the festival was over the YES bin was full and they resigned from their current jobs the next day to commit to their fresh fruit company, which would later be known as Innocent. Richard and his business partners had trouble finding investors, to begin with; eventually Maurice Pinto, an American Businessman decided to invest a significant amount into the company.
In 2006 Innocent hired 89 people and their smoothies were selling in over 6000 stores around the UK. The company now makes vegetable pots in addition to their various flavours of smoothies and children’s drinks. The brand continued to expand across Europe and in 2009 Coca-Cola invested in Innocent with Richard, Adam and Jon remaining in operational control. In 2013, Coca-Cola increased their stake in Innocent and the three founders sold their remaining stakes in the company.
In his speeches, Richard tells the ‘Innocent Story’ and how the trio developed a multi-million-pound company. While under their control, Innocent won numerous awards including ‘Innovative Company of the Year’ at the Growing Business Awards, The Orange ‘Innovative Company of the Year’ and Richard won the Ernst and Young ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ award.
Since leaving Innocent, Richard has written a film script, and put on art exhibitions. His next nig move was to launch a fund called Jam Jar, which is about funding the new wave of entrepreneurs coming through. Richard is a charming and charismatic speaker with a wealth of knowledge on how to grow a successful business and an inspiring story to tell.