TV Apprentice finalist secures £170,000 for food business

By Lorraine Mullaney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cooking

After being fired by Lord Sugar, TV Apprentice Nick Holzherr is determined to succeed on his own
After being fired by Lord Sugar, TV Apprentice Nick Holzherr is determined to succeed on his own
TV Apprentice finalist Nick Holzherr has secured a £170,000 investment for his recipe website, after being ‘fired’ by Lord Sugar.

Holzherr was one of the final four, out of 16 candidates competing to become Lord Sugar’s business partner and win a £250,000 investment.

He has now secured backing from a consortium of investors in a deal brokered by Midven – a venture capital company based in the West Midlands.

Holzherr is now planning the launch of Whisk: a free app that reads recipes online. It analyses the ingredient information from the recipe and cross-references it to the inventory in online supermarkets.

Lord Sugar: ‘bothered’?

Speaking of Holzherr’s plan on the TV show, Lord Sugar said: “It’s achievable, I get that. But so’s sending a man to the moon. What are we going to get out of it at the end? Who could be bothered with it?”

Earlier this month, Holzherr told “My mistake, I believe, was over-complicating the explanation of the business to Lord Sugar. I should have explained it more simply, also focusing on the need for it in the target market – which is quite big.”

Others obviously disagreed with Lord Sugar, including Craig Edmunds, leader of the team who developed the transactional functionality of and He will be joining Whisk as co-founder.

Holzherr said: “We’ve been given very positive feedback from technology investors and experts who understand this market very well."

The consortium of investors includes: Birmingham City Council; Nate Macleitch, chairman of cloud computing company Quickblox; Midland entrepreneur Doug Scott; C7 Medical founder Peter Dines and Guy Morris, who sold his digital marketing business Media Ingenuity in 2011 with a valuation of £4M.

Supermarket talks

Holzherr is already in talks with supermarkets. The launch should happen within four weeks.

Whisk is initially targeting three markets: technology geeks, foodies and mums.

It selects the best options for the user based on taste, price sensitivity and dietary needs, then creates a shopping list.

It transfers the shopping list to the online supermarket on the user’s behalf, where he or she can arrange for delivery or continue shopping.

The app, which is free to use, also calculates what ingredients will be leftover from cooking recipes by comparing pack sizes with the amount needed. It will suggest new recipes to cook with leftovers and work out “optimum” portions to cook in order to use lefovers, which fits with the current trend to reduce food waste.

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