Michael Barsties told industry leaders and entrepreneurs gathered at the Gulfood Startup Activation Programme that there are four main ways to make use of technology in enabling start-up success.

OLIO is one of the most rapidly-growing F&B start-ups in the industry today. It is essentially a food-sharing app with a sustainability vision that works by connecting users both at a household and business level to enable surplus food and other items to be shared instead of thrown away.

Barsties said that: “OLIO piloted in July 2015, launched in January 2016 in the United Kingdom, and went global by October 2016. Now, we have over one million downloads […] and a presence in over 42 countries.”

“[This proves that technology really does work as an important enabler], and I want to give four examples of how technology helps us in what we are doing.”

1)      The power of the many

One of the main ways that technology can play a crucial role in growing a start-up is by leveraging on its ability to reach many, many individuals whether these be participants, investors, volunteers or the like.

“At OLIO, [we see how technology can] plant a seed into people’s heads so they realise what they can do to help the environment. For example, in our ambassador programme, when people were interested but did not yet have a network in which to share food, we provided interested parties with tools to grow the audience and network required,” ​said Barsties.

This would be a marketing kit of sorts, teaching them to spread the word online and offline, so here things like social media would definitely play a very big part.

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