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From setback to success: entrepreneurs who are fortified by failure

John Stapleton, co-founder of New Covent Garden Soup Co and Little Dish, was the keynote speaker at the Confessions of a Small Business event.

In 1984, John Stapleton was 19 and, in his own words, a “nifty triple jumper”, training with the Irish national team and hoping to represent his country in the Los Angeles Olympics. But injury struck and Stapleton never made it. 
His coach told him that he had two options – waste time feeling sorry for himself, or start training for the next season. 

Stapleton, who was speaking at the Guardian’s Confessions of a Small Business seminar, went on to found the New Covent Garden soup company, which pioneered the idea of fresh, chilled ready-made soups, and Little Dish, which offers healthy ready meals for children.

Read the full interview in The Guardian, here: 

Q&A with angel investor John Stapleton - The Sunday Times

Every week we talk to a business angel, one of the early-stage investors who collectively inject £1.5bn a year into British start-up companies

Liam Kelly

October 21 2018, 12:01am, The Sunday Times

John Stapleton: ‘I invest in businesses only where I think I can add value’DIANA GRAVE

John Stapleton, 54, co-founded the New Covent Garden Soup Co straight after graduating from Reading University in 1987. After 11 years and with sales of £20m, he sold it to Daniels, a London-listed food company. He later started Little Dish, which makes children’s snacks, and sold that last year.

Stapleton started angel investing two years ago and backs food and drink start-ups including Capsicana, which makes Latin American sauces, and Spoon Cereals, a health food maker.

Stapleton typically funds founders with £100,000.

Why I invest
When you start your own business, you go very deep into a lot of detail — but it’s only one business. Investing gives me a breadth of experience I never had before, and keeps me in touch with the market.


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