Wilbo’s Blends Strategic Grants Review Case Study

With help from GrantTree’s Strategic Review Service, Wilbo’s Blends secured more than £300,000 in grant funding from Innovate UK’s ‘Better Food for All: Innovation for improved nutrition’ competition. 

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Real Food for the Blended Diet Community

Wilbo’s Blends is dedicated to providing 100% real organic food through meals for individuals who require tube feeding or suffer from dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). Research and a growing evidence base show that a blended diet - real food that has been blended with liquid to a thin, smooth consistency that can pass easily through a feeding tube - offers numerous advantages over commercial feeds. These advantages include reduced gastrointestinal symptoms such as reflux, diarrhoea and constipation, as well as greater comfort and a normalisation of meal times. The inspiration for Wilbo’s Blends comes from the founders’ son, William (affectionately known as Wilbo), who was born with a rare form of epilepsy that means he needs to be fed through a tube.

Identifying a Grant Funding Opportunity

Co-Director and Co-Founder Lisa Miles thought Wilbo’s Blends was an excellent candidate for Innovate UK’s ‘Better Food for All: Innovation for improved nutrition’ competition, which offered up to £25 million for the development of innovative solutions addressing significant nutritional challenges. However, while the company had a good deal of experience applying for healthcare-related grants - Lisa is also the Operations Director at the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Manchester - the Wilbo’s Blends team had not previously applied for Innovate UK programmes.

Engaging GrantTree

To give their application the best possible chance of success, Wilbo’s Blends sought help from an agency with extensive experience in submitting applications for Innovate UK programs. The team decided that GrantTree, the UK’s leading grant funding consultancy, was the ideal partner.

GrantTree's Approach

Wilbo’s Blends opted for GrantTree’s Strategic Grants Review service, which provides two rounds of detailed, easy-to-implement feedback from a grants experts currently assessing applications for Innovate UK. This feedback is designed to help companies make their application more eye-catching, demonstrate their suitability for funding, and resolve any issues before submission.

According to Lisa, the Strategic Review delivered “robust and challenging comments” that were key to the success of their application. “GrantTree’s Strategic Review service was really valuable. It made a massive difference to how we structured and wrote our bid and to the key messages and justifications we put forward.”

Application Success

Wilbo’s Blends application was accepted by Innovate UK

Grant Funding Secured

The project received funding amounting to more than £300,000

Exceptional Scores

Each of the company’s answers received at least 8 out of 10, an outstanding result

What Wilbo's Blends said...

“GrantTree’s Strategic Review service had a profound impact on the strength and quality of our application. Without their help, I very much doubt we would have got the scores we received from Innovate UK. While we were confident in our team, skills, and project aligning well with the competition's objectives, GrantTree helped us comprehend the assessors' perspective and construct a compelling case for funding. I wholeheartedly recommend GrantTree to other companies seeking to enhance their chances of securing an Innovate UK grant."
Lisa Miles
Co-Director and Co-Founder, Wilbo’s Blends

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