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​Dragons invest thousands in Chichester student’s nutrition business after winning pitch on BBC show

  • Nathan Abbott spoke of tycoons’ investment in health business of which he is a founding member
  • University of Chichester student joined Nutri-Genetix in second-year of degree
  • 24-year-old philanthropist is also a Pride of Britain winner who funds surgery for people born with cleft palates worldwide

 

A STUDENT from the University of Chichester has revealed he is working with the famed Dragons’ Den tycoons after the business he joined as a founding member appeared on the hit BBC show.

Young entrepreneur Nathan Abbott is among the owners of start-up firm Nutri-Genetix, which makes genetically-personalised meal-shakes based on DNA. The 24-year-old, who oversees its digital marketing, said business has boomed since the company secured £50,000 from two Dragons.

Nathan, now heading into the final year of his BSc (Hons) in Digital Marketing, added: “It was an intense experience – we spent a lot of time preparing the pitch.

“Sadly, I couldn’t be on the set, because of Covid, but I did make the packing for each Dragon’s personalised shake – I must have checked the spelling of their names about 100 times. BBC filming took two hours, and we secured funding from Peter Jones and Touker Suleyman.”

 

Pride of Britain award and worldwide fundraising

The University student, from Littlehampton, is a Pride of Britain award-winner who has funded surgery and helped care for thousands of cleft children in the developing world.

Nathan himself was born with a cleft lip and palate and was tragically bullied throughout his younger years. He channelled his adversity into sport, specifically ultra-endurance open-water swimming and physique bodybuilding, and now talks openly about his experiences – while completing in extreme challenges with his fundraising movement Freestyle 4 Smile.

Nathan said: “Growing up with a facial difference, I was constantly pushed down and I felt worthless, so I had to fight to give myself some purpose.

“I started openly sharing my stories of going through 30 operations, not only to raise awareness of cleft lip and palate, but to inspire others that life is worth living, even when going through adversity.

"When I got the Pride of Britain award, I realised I wasn’t just nothing, people’s lives were better because of my work, and it was the proudest moment of my life.”

Nathan Abbott on Sky News

 

Launching a multimillion-pound business during lockdown

Joining the Nutri-Genetix business in his second year of university, Nathan said he would manage his time cautiously, and often turned in assignments months early to focus on the firm.

The company has since progressed into a multimillion-pound corporation, thanks in part to the popular rise in the health and fitness industry during the recent Covid lockdowns.

He added: “The CEO of Nutri-Genetix asked me to join not only because of my background as an athlete, and in growing my own business, but because I was gaining specific digital knowledge from my digital marketing degree.

“I’ve found university invaluable – and the degree is the perfect way of setting the foundations for a successful career in digital marketing. It’s been particularly useful since Dragons’ Den – we’ve had thousands of new customers to the website and I’ve had to build complex email customer journey automations and ensure the user-experience is continuously optimised.”

With more business ventures planned, Nathan said he remains committed to fundraising for children in need of cleft lip and palate surgery. “I’m determined to get the most from life,” he added. “If you do a few little things each day, over the years it adds up to a lot of change.”

For more on Nathan’s charity work see his social media channel instagram.com/freestyle4smile or read about his involvement with the Dragons’ Den pitch at www.nutri-genetix.com.

Find out more about the University's BSc (Hons) in Digital Marketing at www.chi.ac.uk/business-school.