Cambridge Catalyst Issue 08 Newsletter


y first proper job was working for a small Cambridge manufacturing company, System Cases – now trading under the name Sorta-Case – that produced toolboxes and fixings for the construction sector. I’d started there after my A-levels, becoming a partner in the business several years later. Though I learned a lot very quickly, and got to travel extensively, I worked out that ultimately it wasn’t what I wanted to do. What I did want to do was make TV content. This was slightly more challenging, especially as I had no experience, qualifications or required skills! Together with a friend, who thankfully had some of the skills needed, I set up a production company, developed a number of documentary ideas and touted them to the terrestrial Simon Crosbie, founder of commuter- focused meal kit service, Prepped, tells Catalyst about the three professionals who were integral to his business success

not just by the working environment, but by the calibre of people I was working with. I felt pushed every day and I was learning how things really worked within a successful business – and the job was fun! After four and a half years, I was approached by the integrated creative directors to consider leaving and setting up our own agency, Mohawk. It was something I felt ready for. It was the end of 2006 and what could stop us? Little did we know what 2008 would bring for all of us. But we survived the bleak days of the financial crash and built a thriving agency, with offices in the UK and Asia, working with global clients such as Deloitte, The Guardian and JP Morgan. The idea behind Prepped was conceived on my daily commute from Cambridge to London and, ultimately, it was based on getting myself a nice dinner on the way home. Prepped offers restaurant- inspired meal kits, using locally and ethically sourced seasonal ingredients that are prepared for people to pull together at home in less than 30 minutes. During my 12 years of travelling back and forth to London, like many of my fellow commuters, I would be tasked with getting dinner on the way home. I was never a great fan of this job, as it delayed me getting home after a long day and layered on frustration and fatigue. Prepped was conceived to ensure I could get a nice dinner and get home in time! We had a great start, launching at the beginning of 2020 and obtaining planning permission for fitting out spaces at Cambridge and Audley End train stations – then along came everyone’s game changer, Covid-19. Like many businesses, we’ve had to pivot and adapt to new realities that bring challenges and opportunities. These are three people who have helped me along the way...

TV channels. We managed to get some funding and make some pilots, which was not only great fun, but really testing in terms of learning on the job. But this was the early 2000s and market conditions meant TV stations were pulling funding and sticking with the tried and tested. Eventually, that brought our company to an end. At this point, I felt I needed to go and get a job in a large organisation to start filling in the gaps of how things get done. After a few bill-

paying moves, I got a job at a large advertising agency called J Walter Thompson, working as an account

manager with a telecoms client. I was blown away,

I SSUE 08 16


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