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
We work with you using our investor network to help you secure appropriate funding
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
PITCH YOUR CREATIVE BUSINESS
2. INITIAL FEEDBACK
YOU WILL RECEIVE INITIAL FEEDBACK ON WHETHER YOUR BUSINESS MEETS OUR CRITERIA WITHIN 7-10 BUSINESS DAYS OF THE APPLICATION
3. INVESTMENT COMMITTEE
YOUR APPLICATION IS SUBMITTED TO TOUCAN'S INVESTMENT COMMITTEE FOR REVIEW
4. NEXT STEPS
OUR INVESTMENT COMMITTEE WILL PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON YOUR BUSINESS WHICH WE WILL DISCUSS WITH YOU
WE WILL HELP PREPARE YOU AND WORK WITH YOU TO CONNECT YOU WITH THE TOUCAN ECOSYSTEM OF MENTORS, PARTNERS, AND INVESTMENT PARTNERS
Meet Our Vibrant Toucan Team
Founder & CEO
Rasha Khawaja is the founder and CEO of Toucan. Rasha’s innate desire for knowledge took her to Brown University where she studied Psychiatry and Cognitive Science. Further education followed at both Oxford University and Cambridge University before 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 also sits on the board of the Oxford Business School as well as the Oxford Global Leadership Council and is a Founding Ambassador on the Prince’s Trust Women Supporting Women Council. Outside of the world of Toucan, Rasha is a devoted mother and an adventurous traveller who one day hopes to conquer Kilimanjaro and to walk The Great Wall of China. Rasha is also dedicated to a number of charities and sits on the board of ‘The Playing For Change Foundation’, as well as supporting her family’s charity, ‘The Said Foundation’. Toucan Ventures were proud to win ‘One to Watch – Best Entrant to the Angel Ecosystem’ at the 2016 Angel Investment Awards as well as being nominated for the Employer of the Year – Women in Finance Awards 2018.
Gaurav did his bachelor’s in economics in India, after which he worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. He then graduated with a full scholarship from the University of Oxford with his Master’s in Business in 2018. In his free time, Gaurav can either be found trying to (unsuccessfully) emulate Roger Federer on the tennis court or tormenting people in the vicinity with his music, under his moniker, Rooftop Sundays. He’s also a terrible cook who, by some miracle, managed to explode five eggs. Understandably, he’s banned from his mother’s kitchen.
Charlotte was raised in The Fiji Islands before coming to the UK to complete her bachelor’s degree. Having graduated with first class honours in English Literature, she has been a published reporter for The Fiji Times. During her time at university, she wrote articles and produced videos for The Tab, the fastest growing student media start up in the UK and the USA. Instilled with a passion for the creative industries and start-ups, Charlotte has looked towards Toucan to develop and refine her skills.
Head of Finance & Operations
Fernando is a finance, strategy and technology professional with extensive experience in financial management, operations analysis, finance projects, business planning and information systems. During his career he’s worked for different companies including several global successful corporations, very profitable SMEs and also supporting several start-ups up to their establishment and consolidation.
Fernando holds a BA focused on Tourism and Business Administration, a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Management, a Master’s in Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility and a Certificate in Data Science. He holds also professional qualifications in key areas such as project management, accounting, financial analysis and investment.
Sarah El Tayara
Social Media Intern
Sarah is our social media intern responsible for managing our Twitter/Instagram/Facebook pages. Currently, she is completing her bachelor’s degree in Economics at UCL. Prior to Toucan, she took the time to explore the different areas of businesses through internships. Passionate about numbers and London’s unique creativity, Sarah came to Toucan to enhance her skills and knowledge on the creative startup scenes. Outside of Toucan, you can find her discovering the streets of London!
our advisory board
Director of Arts and Travel, Branding Latin America Group
Gabriella Windsor, Director of Arts and Travel at Branding Latin America Group, is a keen and experienced advocate for social enterprise. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Playing for Change Foundation, a non profit providing communities in need with music and arts education, as well as wider schooling and basic community services. Since graduating from Brown University she has written about social and cultural topics worldwide. She spent six months in the Middle East, taught in some of Brazil’s most challenged favelas, supported crucial health work for Amazonian village communities and curated arts events with emerging artists and musicians in Buenos Aires. She also undertook extensive research with socio-educational dance initiative The School of the Body in Colombia as part of her recent Masters at Oxford University in Social Anthropology.
Camilla Al Fayed
Camilla Al Fayed was born in London and educated in Surrey.
From the age of sixteen and throughout her twenties, Camilla worked for Harrods, the family business, working and gaining experience across all departments.
Following her interest in fashion, Camilla worked as a buyer for her sister’s brand, Jasmine Di Milo, and with British and American Vogue.
Alongside the family business, Camilla began visiting hospitals and hospices with her father in her early teens. In 2005, she began a more active role with the AlFayed Charity Foundation in 2005 and became an ambassador and patron of many charitable foundations.
In September 2011, Issa London brand was acquired and Camilla became Chairwoman, responsible for the brand and directing expansion.
Camilla set up the plant based restaurant Farmacy in London’s Notting Hill in 2016 and her life’s passion is about creating a space for healthy, organic eating within the concept of ‘Food is Medicine’. She and her team run this successful restaurant in the heart of West London’s food district.