SME Profile: Pizza Rossa

Pizza Rossa raised a whopping £400K through crowd funding. Founder Corrado Accardi explains the inspiration behind the idea and how an MBA from LBS helped him get the ball rolling.

Corrado Accardi has gone to great lengths to launch his takeaway pizza start-up, Pizza Rossa Ltd. After joining the MBA program at London Business School, he utilized the schools' incubator and developed his business plan.
He went on to secure a record amount of crowd funding from Crowdcude (£440,000) and snapping up their Best Start-Up Of The Year award. He hopes to use the money to launch two outlets in London and has his sights set on a franchise empire.
Corrado tells us his inspiration behind the idea, why he thinks this business will succeed when so many others have failed, and how he secured his record amount of funding. 
What is the company’s size?
Technically I'm the only employee. It was my own idea but I created it with four other people, who are actively involved. 
We hope to start employing other people in about 2 months. By time we open our first outlet we hope to have around six or seven employees.
Which sector does it operate in?
The food and drinks industry. Our sub-category would be restaurants. And also quick-service restaurants.
What does the business do and what are your core/flagship products?
The concept of Pizza Rossa was developed with the aim to create a new chain of premium quality Italian-style takeaway pizzerias by-the-slice in London.
We want to be recognized as the namesake for takeaway pizza, a bit like Pret for sandwiches and Nando’s for chicken, but we will sell also other food.
The brand focuses on offering customers what they crave: a conveniently available, quick serving (up to 90 seconds for a piping hot delicious pizza), delicious product, easy to eat on the go and served by smiling staff. 
Who is the CEO/ founder?
I am the CEO and founder.
Which regions are covered?
The business plan is for twelve outlets within five years, all in London. But the reality is that when we start franchising, there are no limits. We will go to different places. 
How was the company founded?
The idea came about because, having lived in London for so many years and having the majority of my lunches out at fast food outlets, there was always something missing for me. 
Pizza-by-the-slice is something you find at every corner in Italy, but in London there are very few. I saw a gap in the market and I wanted to see if its possibile to create a chain. 
The idea was always to do something with the potential to become chain and expand beyond London - or theres no point in considering it. The whole business model is about how to make it expandable. 
How did you manage to raise a record amount of crowd funding?
We had the credibility of having LBS behind us, after using the schools' incubator - which was an important element in whole presentation of the business. 
We had an award-winning business plan, a credible management team and a good pitch. I think a lot of people realized there was a gap in the market.
The money raised will cover the costs of the production facility and setting up two outlets in London.
How has your MBA from LBS helped you launch the business?
The turning point for me was when I applied for LBS’s Entrepreneurship Summer School. It came out that the idea was not only feasible, but appealing too.
LBS was also instrumental in putting me in contact with a food and beverage network - people who were helpful and supportive of the idea.
An MBA gave me credibility with investors, so when we tried to get crowd funding we had a core of investors committed to the project, which helped us get traction. 

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