Charles Lanceley and Fiona Fitzpatrick

Charles Lanceley and Fiona Fitzpatrick at Alantra’s investment banking headquarters in London

Mid-market financial services firm Alantra has teamed up with the Brand Growth Heroes accelerator led by Fiona Fitzpatrick to launch a ‘Mini MBA’ for challenger brand founders.

The MBA is a 10-week programme to help scaling consumer packaged goods brands. It is designed to equip founders with the knowledge, skills, and strategies to formulate a growth acceleration plan.

Alantra, which publishes the annual Fast 50 report to highlight the most rapidly growing businesses in F&B, is sponsoring four places on the MBA.

Fitzpatrick, who has 25 years’ fmcg experience following a career spent at Nestlé, Gü Desserts, Premier Foods and Strong Roots, will run the MBA programme.

Open to privately owned, consumer-facing CPG brands of any size, the programme will be delivered through weekly online learning content, webinars led by guest speakers, personalised one-to-one sessions, interactive group workshops and bespoke support from data and insights specialist firm North Star and Harlands Accountants.

The MBA starts on 29 April with an induction session and welcome reception at Alantra’s investment banking headquarters in London.

The winners of the Alantra sponsored places will receive regular personal and group mentoring sessions with Charles Lanceley, Alantra head of UK food & beverage, and will present their optimised strategy to him and other senior professionals at the firm upon completion.

Applications for places on the Mini MBA can be made online and founders have until 21 March to apply. 

“I’m proud to announce this exclusive collaboration with Alantra,” Fitzpatrick said. “We share the same goal of helping the founders of vibrant CPG brands to thrive and realise their visions.

“I have spent a lot of time with Charles and the Alantra team exploring how we can combine our complementary skillsets and am impressed not only by their expertise and track record, but also by their culture, how they work with each other and with their clients. With the Brand Growth Heroes Mini MBA powered by Alantra, we are able to support founders who really want to scale their businesses.”

Lanceley added: “We’re incredibly excited to be collaborating with Fiona on the Mini MBA and to be supporting the next generation of brand growth heroes. Fiona’s depth and breadth of experience in the CPG industry is hugely impressive. Participating in the programme equips founders with the strategic insights and guidance they need to achieve sustainable, profitable growth.

“We take pride in sitting alongside our clients as they grow their business, sharing advice and access to our network well ahead of any transaction. Alantra’s consumer team has advised the founders of some of the most successful CPG brands and I’m really looking forward to helping another generation achieve their ambitions.”

Fitzpatrick runs her own consultancy and food and drink accelerator for startups, as well as hosting the Brand Growth Heroes podcast, and most recently took on a non-executive role with tempeh brand Better Nature.

More than 90 brands have completed the Brand Growth Heroes ‘Growth Strategy Programme’, including PerfectTed, Freddie’s Farm, Bold Bean Co, Neat, Better Nature and Stocked.

Alantra employees more than 650 professionals across Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia providing investment banking, asset management and private capital services to companies, families and investors operating in the mid-market segment.

It also has a record of supporting scaling businesses, with Alantra ScaleUp offering pro-bono advice to scale-ups with high-growth potential to prepare their first rounds of institutional financing.

Founders can make an application on Alantra’s website here.