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Valerie Pondaven

Valerie Pondaven

Food Accelerator Manager

University of Greenwich - NRI (Natural Resources Institute)


Valerie was originally from Brittany, but has lived and work in Kent for the last 25 years. With a background in international trade and agri-food, she has been helping food and drink businesses develop and launch innovative products or services in the UK and further afield. Valerie really enjoys working with businesses in the dynamic and fast-moving food and drink sector and is always excited to see innovative start-up businesses take root here in the UK. She works hand in hand with innovative Food and drink producers, from start-ups to those more established, to get their products ready for market and reach the best level of commercial success. Valerie also links businesses with academic partners, agri-food industry partners and technology providers to build strong consortiums and access funding opportunities. With support from her team, she runs the Food Accelerator which provides structured support including mentoring, training, networking opportunities and access to technical expertise and state-of-the-art facilities. Valerie considers it a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the Growing Kent & Medway team. She gets to work with ambitious and innovative businesses that contribute to the country’s sustainable growth and create job opportunities, both locally and beyond.

Area of expertise

Business Support

  • Mentoring Scheme
  • New Product Innovation 
  • Business and product development