Member of the Month: July 2012

Donnie Maclean

GYP member and Founder of Eat Balanced (you may have read about them in the news recently…)

What’s your background?

Glasgow, Strathclyde University Business School, Graduate Programme in London

So what do you do now?

For the last two years, I’ve been working on a business which makes it easier for people to achieve the balanced diet they know they should have.

Our tasty products provide the consumer with complete, nutritionally balanced meals.  I’ve worked with a professor of nutrition at Glasgow Uni to make sure that we did this correctly.  I wanted our first range of products to be something that captured the imagination and got people thinking, “That’s a great idea, I’ll give that a shot”.

We are choosing people’s favourite meals, so that they are more likely to try them.  The first range is pizzas!

The best thing about it?  I’ve just launched recently and people seem to be loving the idea and the taste so it seems to be working.  I’ve also just managed to close deals with two of the “big four” supermarkets, and we’ve even been listed as one of the hottest startups in the UK!

If money & time were no object, what would you do?

It sounds cheesy, but I would do this business.  I’ve done all sorts of other jobs, but always for other people.  I love being my own boss because I have free rein and I can go in whatever direction I think is best.  I can also pull in whoever I think might be relevant to make the business even better.  I’ve been amazed at the calibre of people who are keen to help.

When you’re not working what do you enjoy doing?

For the last 6 months, I’ve had very little free time, but I always try to keep fit (running, circuits, swimming, adventure races) otherwise I get really frustrated.  If I get a chance, I do creative things (I do paintings for people).  As an entrepreneur, I get bored pretty easily, so I love trying new things, so I’ll often choose something obscure to try, such as stone sculpting, stained glass making, or dancing.

Why did you join GYP? Any advice for new members or those thinking about coming to their first event?

Always keen to meet new people.  You never know who you might meet or who they might know.  I was interested in seeing who was in GYP, so I just went along.  They’re a very friendly bunch, especially Richard and Sara.  They’re amazing at remembering people’s names (not my forte!) and making you feel welcome.

What has been your favourite GYP event & why?

I’ve only been to a few, but the recent BBQ and Highland Games was good fun.  Picked up caber tossing as another new skill – who would’ve thought!?

Are you a member of any other networking groups?

I’m a bit of a networking tart.  I’m not a member of any others, but I do get around them.

Where can we find you?