Ben Polkinghorne had an odd hobby – burritos. He sought them out, reviewed them, experimented with new varieties.
Then last year he met a guy with another odd passion, sausages. And Polkinghorne had a weird idea – a burrito-flavoured sausage.
“The thing with sausages is that there are no rules, so we thought: ‘Why not mix meat, whole black beans and chunks of ingredients into a sausage’. Then we thought, instead of a piece of stale white bread, why not serve it in a tortilla, with guacamole, hot sauce and sour cream?”
So he did. Six months, and 50,000 bangerritos later – sold mainly through supermarkets like Nosh, Farro Fresh and Moore Wilson, as well as My Food Bag – Polkinghorne has quit his day job working in advertising at Colenso BBDO and is heading (with his burrito sausages) for Sydney and then London.
He told a packed crowd at Idealog’s latest Pitch Circus event at Auckland’s high-class Seafarers venue, that his entrepreneurial journey had been chaotic, but the company was celebrating its six month anniversary by launching a tequila-soaked chicken bangerrito an having a party at Britomart Country Club bar on June 6.
He says the next stop is setting up distribution in Australia and London, and he’s flying across the Tasman next month.
Second place at Pitch Circus went to Sarah Richie, whose A.M.Insider website addresses the lack of professional development tools for account managers in the advertising and print industries.
“In my career I needed training and resources that didn’t exist, and it turns out it’s a global problem. I decided to do something about it.”
Meanwhile, Desmond Chai pitched his company Indent Star, which sources and manufactures a range of sustainable bamboo products, from stationary and keyboards to toys.
“Clients find it hard to source sustainable products. I’m sourcing from Japan, Vietnam and China and can help overcome cultural and language barriers.
Idealog Pitch Circus winners get featured in Idealog magazine and online, receive $1000, a package of business and IP advice, and a gift from Johnnie Walker. To compete, pitch us your idea at firstname.lastname@example.org.