John Stapleton

The Authentic Entrepreneur - Turning Uncertainty into Competitive Advantage

John’s authentic approach and straight-forward rationale has its origins in his up-bringing on a farm in the west of Ireland and his early career as an international athlete. This provided John with a practical and down-to-earth gritty determination and an ability to recognise that life – particularly life as an entrepreneur – can be best approached by leveraging the inherent strengths of one’s own personality. John emphasises taking advantage of “early life experiences” to best deal with both challenges and opportunities in professional life

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John has first-hand experience in start-up, early stage growth and scale-up stage businesses, having co-founded three FMCG businesses, building and growing to exit. John helps design creative, practical, experience-based solutions to problems, challenges and opportunities that brand owners encounter in starting, growing and scaling their companies, across all areas of business. In particular John mentors and delivers keynote speeches on the issues and challenges involved in coping with mindset and personal attitude while managing change, uncertainty and growth.

In 1987 John was a founder-member of the New Covent Garden Soup Co Ltd., which pioneered and grew the fresh soup category in the UK. In 1998, on reaching over £20M revenue, John exited New Covent Garden Soup Co. and immediately co-founded Glencoe Foods Inc. which brought the fresh soup-in-a-carton concept to the US. On returning to Europe in 2003, John established a consumer-branded FMCG consultancy and worked with a number of corporate organisations and early-stage growth businesses in the UK, US and continental Europe.

In 2005, John co-founded Little Dish, which supplies healthy, natural and convenient meals and snacks to children over one year. Little Dish created the chilled toddler food category, developing full UK retailer distribution and became the go-to brand in fresh toddler food. Having grown to approx.. £17M annual retail revenues, John exited Little Dish in 2017.

  • Have the Courage of Your Convictions
  • Embrace Adversity and Learn from Failure
  • The Power of Authenticity
  • Keep Calm and Trust Yourself

"John's a fantastically charismatic speaker who spoke frankly about the highs and lows of business ownership: his keynote speech was extremely positively received" Sonia Hickey, Head of Commercial Programming, Guardian Live

"John was absolutely superb. He is a serial entrepreneur. He learned from success and more importantly he learned from failure and he delivers these lesson in an engaging and inspiring talk." Alan Stevens, Past President of Global Speakers Federation

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