JOE speaks to AIB Start-up Academy finalist, Rebel Chilli
The AIB Start-up Academy Final takes place on April 28th and we are profiling the 11 finalists on both JOE.ie and Her.ie in the lead up to that date.
11 companies have won a place on the AIB Start-up Academy which is already in progress. The winners are all on an intensive eight week course learning the ropes in the business world.
The featured company today is Rebel Chilli and we speak to the man behind it, Paul Moore.
JOE: How does it feel to be part of the AIB Start-up Academy?
Paul: It’s fantastic to be a part of the AIB Start-up Academy. I was absolutely delighted when I found out that I would on the Academy and it has been great for exposure for the business.
To be selected from what was initially over 400 companies is a great confidence boost and it’s nice that other people recognise the potential in Rebel Chilli.
JOE: What are you looking forward to most about the AIB Start-up Academy?
Paul: I am looking forward to meeting all of the other people and their respective companies. It can be isolating sometimes as an entrepreneur when you are running your own company so it’ll be good to chat to people in similar situations to myself.
I’m also looking forward to each of the workshops as I’m sure they’ll be very beneficial to both myself and the company.
JOE: Is there anything you’re nervous about in joining the AIB Start-up Academy?
Paul: Not really. I don’t think there’s anything to be nervous about as I’m sure we’ll all get on and it’ll be a great experience. Of course it’s a competition and we all want to win, but I’m not worried about it. It’s a great opportunity and one that I will enjoy as best I can!
JOE: What do you think makes your business stand out from the rest of the finalists?
Paul: My business stands out because Rebel Chilli is a young and dynamic company and we do things differently than everyone else. I started full time operations immediately after finishing college because I saw the potential in the company, so I approach every day with a desire and relentlessness to achieve as much as I can.
The result of this is our awesome range of sauces made from only the best ingredients I can get my hands on. Also, we have built up a loyal base of customers from travelling to food festivals all around the country that have supported us from day one and it has meant that we have a really strong following of our brand.
They have stuck with us and continue to buy our products from the retail shelves. We interact with them on a constant basis on our social media pages so we always look for their feedback and opinions on anything new we are planning.
JOE: If you win the grand prize, what do you think you will do with the money?
Paul: I’ll pump all of the money straight back into the business to try and grow the brand as much as I can. I’ve a few ideas for new products so I’d use the money to launch a new sauce to celebrate winning the Academy.
Not only will the money be great, but the exposure will be brilliant and I’ll use the momentum from winning to expand the profile of the business so that everyone in Ireland knows what Rebel Chilli is about. Also, I’d definitely have to throw a party for everyone who has helped me with Rebel Chilli so far!
JOE: Where do you see your business going after the AIB Start-up Academy?
Paul: After the Academy, we will continue to expand the number of stores we are available in Ireland. We hope to be have our products in all the major Irish multiples within a few months. Also, we are attending the largest food and drink expo in the UK in April so we plan to use this show as a route into the UK market.
We are currently exporting to Dubai and we will be adding other regions in the UAE and also expanding our business to Malaysia in the next three months. Overall, the plan is to grow the business as much as possible to see how far we can take it, which, hopefully, will be to the very top!
AIB are Backing Brave. To read more about the Start-up Academy in association with the Irish Times, visit here.