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Who we are

Toucan is an eco-system that supports your creative potential as a long term partner through the tough start-up phases by using our Mentor and Investor network specialising in Food & Beverage, Lifestyle and Retail.

What we do

We cultivate your future potential


We take you under our wing by offering you long-term business support and connecting you with the Toucan Ecosystem


We use our connections to get you hard to match services


We match you up with a Mentor and Guru who will add rocket fuel to your business

Investment Partners

We work with you using our investor network to help you secure appropriate funding

Our Criteria

We are looking for creative ideas and companies:

  • That are based in London or Greater London

  • In the Food and Beverage, Lifestyle, or Retail industries

  • That have passionate, committed and ambitious founders

  • With a clear market opportunity

  • That are commercially scalable

The Toucan Process

1. Sign Up

Sign up to Toucan for free

2. Pitch

Pitch your creative business

3. Initial Feedback

You will receive initial feedback on whether your business meets our criteria within a month of the application

4. Investment Committee

Your application is submitted to Toucan's Investment Committee for review

5. Next Steps

Our Investment Committee will feedback to you on your business which we will discuss with you

6. Support

We will help prepare you and work with you to connect you with the Toucan ecosystem of Gurus, Investment Partners, Mentors, Partners and Champions

The Team

Meet Our Vibrant Toucan Team

Rasha Rasha snapchat

Rasha Khawaja

Founder, CEO

Rasha studied Psychiatry and Cognitive Science at Brown university, with further education at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Rasha started her career at Condé Nast Publications and went on to work at Christie's. These experiences heightened her entrepreneurial drive and after spotting a gap in the market for a way to help creatives get their businesses out in front of influential business luminaries, Toucan was born. Rasha’s passion for innovation and nurturing new talent and business continues through her role as a member of the UKBAA, and being an active member of the advisory board of Innovation RCA and the development and strategy board of the ZSL. Rasha is also dedicated to a number of charities, as well as supporting her family’s charity, The Said Foundation. Outside of the world of Toucan, Rasha is a devoted mother and an adventurous traveller who one day hopes to conquer Everest.

Toria Toria snapchat

Toria Ewart-Perks


After beginning her career working for the well-respected Mary McCartney, Toria has since performed roles across the world, as far as the remote Christmas Island. She has had a varied career, working in a range of companies from start-ups to large international corporations including Viacom and Pearson PLC. Toria manages all operational activities for Toucan including technology, investment, finance, legal and HR. Outside of Toucan, Toria is on a quest around London to find the ultimate Gin & Tonic.

Erin Erin snapchat

Erin Oberholtzer

Startup Manager

Prior to joining Toucan, Erin spent the majority of her career working in finance, originally as a trader and structurer at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the United States. She is also the co-founder of a startup focusing on data analytics within the education space. Erin holds a B.A in Economics with honours from the University of Chicago and an M.B.A from London Business School. In the role of Startup Manager, Erin guides all Toucan entrepreneurs from their initial interaction with the company through to developing business strategy all the way to fundraise. Outside of Toucan, Erin enjoys taking advantage of the vast array of culinary opportunities in London.

Joao Joao snapchat

João Batista

Software Developer

As a software developer, João has been working with a lot of technologies across his academic and professional career. With his knowledge in web development, project management and creative thinking, João has been using his skills to power the technological side of the company. João moved from Portugal to London to join Toucan and fulfil his dream of being part of an online entrepreneurial start-up.

Nicola Nicola snapchat

Nicola Gartenberg

Operations Manager

After having graduated from the University of Leeds, Nicola has worked for a number of various startups in the content and marketing department. She has utilised and further developed her skills, whilst working at Toucan and has since advanced into an operational role. When she is not busy at Toucan, she spends her time going to see live comedy with whoever she can drag along.

Alice Alice snapchat

Alice Gallop

Blog and Social Media Associate

Having recently graduated from Durham University, Alice jumped at the chance to get involved with the social side of the Toucan team. When she’s not blogging and tweeting at Toucan, Alice is a huge theatre fanatic - having unashamedly seen Wicked and Billy Elliot respectively going on 8 times – and loves watching reality TV (possibly more shamefully).

Our Board


Philip Seers


Philip A G Seers is a member of the Investment Committee of Phoenix Equity Partners private equity funds and a director of Said Holdings Limited and Vox Generation Ltd. From 1968 to 1982, Mr Seers was with Credit Suisse First Boston, principally involved in the Eurobond primary market. From 1982 to 1996, he was Managing Partner of Phoenix Securities, primarily involved in Corporate Finance in Financial Services and in Private Equity investment. From 1997 to 2000, Mr Seers was Managing Director, European Corporate Finance at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.


Rory Bernard

Non Exec Member

An experienced IT professional working at senior board and project level with a strong record in the internet sector working with both start-up and large corporations. Co-founded and CEO of a high growth, multi-million pound internet software developer becoming one of the UK leading independents before selling to a global consultancy. A self-motivated team player, committed to the delivery of results by using creative solutions and a personal network of clients and investors.

Our Advisors

Farid ul haque

Farid Ul Haque

Associate, Lean Investments

Farid served as the CEO of Startup Britain, and the Programme Lead in London for the Startup Leadership Programme. Prior to ERLY STAGE Studios, he launched the award-winning journal ERLY STAGE, featuring start-ups and technologies around the world. Farid has worked for LEGO, Barclays and Schlumberger, is an advisor to the Chairman of the British Council, and sits on the Global Provocation Board. Farid was also on the board of the UK India Business Council.


Mohamed Amersi

Chairman of The Amersi Foundation

Mohamed Amersi is actively engaged in the full spectrum of activities ranging from for profit, responsible profit and no-profit. He is the Founder & CEO of Emergent Telecom Ventures, an entrepreneurial Emerging Markets Consulting, Advisory and Asset Management firm specialising in Telecoms, Media & Technology. The non-profit activities are directed through the The Amersi Foundation, which actively supports causes and charities in Education, Poverty, Conflict and Religion in Africa, Middle East and Asia. More recently, while at the University of Oxford’s Said Business School where he earned a distinction and was cited on the Dean’s list, Mohamed launched the Inclusive Ventures Group, a social impact investing platform that has invested in education, livelihood, health and waste management in Africa and Asia.


Paola Cuneo

Campaign Director, Sirius Programme, UKTI

Currently Paola runs the Sirius programme at UKTI, which she has designed and implemented following the Government’s announcement in the Autumn Statement 2012. The Sirius alumni have raised over £18M in equity investment for a valuation of over £80M and have won grants an awards of over £2M.

Prior to running Sirius, Paola spent over 10 years at BT in senior roles, ranging from running the P&L of the UK mobile unit, to setting up the international operations of the professional services division. While at BT, Paola was selected for a secondment at London & Partners, the Mayor of London promotional agency for business and tourism. Paola ran both the European team and for 6 months, the Asia Pacific team. Paola was focusing in managing the multiple stakeholders and influencers, while promoting London with foreign companies and helping them to setting up in the UK.

Paola is often found mentoring and supporting entrepreneurs.