Burning ambition pays off for entrepreneurial duo

Burning ambition pays off for entrepreneurial duo

A young Scottish business which plans to reinvent outdoor dining has won a £50,000 prize as part of the Scottish EDGE business competition.

Uuni, the creators of world’s first portable wood-fired oven, was founded in 2013 by Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland, when they spotted a gap in the market for an affordable and portable wood-fired oven.

Retailing at only £199, the oven rivals its bulky counterparts which will set customers back at least £700, with the added bonus of being completely portable.

Uuni ovens aim to diversify outdoor dining from just a typical summer’s day barbeque, allowing users to cook pizzas in 60 seconds, as well as meat, fish, vegetables and even desserts.

The first Uunis were shipped to customers in July 2013, now less than three years later orders have been shipped to customers in 50 countries. The business is also working with retailers in around 20 countries.

Thanks to the support from Scottish EDGE, the firm is on track to grow sales by 250% in 2016.

Uuni co-creator Kristian said: “In the US, which is 35% of our sales, the barbecue and outdoor cooking market is valued at around $2.5B. Uuni want to take a notable part of that.”

Fellow co-founder Darina added: ‘The Uuni team are truly delighted to have won this investment. The calibre of the companies in the final was extremely high. The support offered from Scottish EDGE in addition to the funds granted will be invaluable as we accelerate our plans.”

Announcing the award on Monday evening, Gordon Merrylees, head of entrepreneurship at the Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Imagine, it’s a beautiful warm sunny day so what would you want to do for dinner? Most people would say ‘have a barbecue’.

“But our next winners are looking to change that thought-process with their innovative outdoor wood-fired oven for cooking theperfect pizza, called Uuni.”

The business was one of fifteen businesses to receive funding worth £1.27m as part of the Scottish EDGE’s eighth competition round, which launched in March of this year.

Evelyn McDonald, CEO of Scottish EDGE, added: “We’re absolutely delighted to be able to support Uuni as part of our eighth competition round. Our panel of expert judges were impressed with the high standard of Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland’s pitch and see great potential in Uuni’s product.

“We look forward to supporting the business as they develop and to welcoming them into our network of high-profile alumni.”

 

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