Food Works Seeks Entrepreneurs
Ireland’s new food entrepreneurs sought for development programme
Are you a budding food entrepreneur? Do you have a big idea for a food business? Could you create a successful and scalable global food business? Food Works, an intensive business development and accelerator programme designed for food and drink start-ups, could be the ideal opportunity for you. Ambitious individuals, with an interest in building an international food or drink business in Ireland, are being sought for participation in Food Works, a programme jointly run by Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc.
Speaking about the programme, David Carey of Nutraplenish, a producer of protein water, said, "Food Works allows you to take a step back from your business to define a clear vision and path going forward. The mentor support and industry contacts have been invaluable. Nutraplenish is teaming up with Musgraves for a nationwide launch in April of this year. We are already beginning our export journey with our sights firmly set on the UK market initially."
How it works
Through a series of workshops and one to one mentoring, successful participants are given an invaluable range of practical business supports required to develop an initial concept into a winning food product with global export potential. The available supports provided by Bord Bia, Teagasc and Enterprise Ireland, include consumer market research, business plan development, technical advice, commercial viability testing in addition to access to fast track access to R&D facilities and possible investors and state funding. Over the past three years, following a competitive process attracting in excess of 250 proposals, a total of 60 start-ups from all food sectors have participated in Food Works. The Food Works team have revealed that 60% of these businesses are now trading which is deemed extremely positive given the high rate of start-up failures within the first 12 months of launching, while 32% of them have started exporting.
Roisin Hogan, HiRo by Roisin and a previous participant added that, “The programme has been invaluable in helping my business to reach its full potential bringing what started as a simple idea in my kitchen to a reality, with HiRo by Roisin recently receiving a listing in all 223 of SuperValu stores.” HiRo by Roisin is a range of fresh vegetable flour noodle and pasta based chilled meals and now, the lowest calorie meals available on the market. The noodles and pasta are made using vegetable flour making them ultra-low calorie and virtually carbohydrate free whilst maintaining all the taste and texture of regular noodles and pasta.
Sisters and chocolatiers, Natalie and Karen Keane of Bean & Goose said, “Developing a food business can be a daunting task; however this programme offers the necessary practical supports for any entrepreneur considering this move. It was a great opportunity for us to access the expertise of Bord Bia, Teagasc and Enterprise Ireland whose support has enabled us to put a business plan in place that will grow Bean and Goose in the coming years. In 2016, we will increase our workforce, extend our production facilities and export to other countries. We are looking forward to an exciting year and building on the skills and knowledge we gained from participating in Food Works.”
Meet the Food Works Team
Introductory meetings are now being held with candidates interested in being a part of Food Works 2016. These meetings will help to establish if the Food Works programme is the right support for you and your business at this stage of development. Ideal applicants are ambitious food or drink entrepreneurs, or companies trading for less than 3 years that wish to target export markets and scale their business.
Interested participants are invited to register online for an introduction meeting in Dublin, Fermoy or Athenry via www.foodworksireland.ie:
- Tuesday, 8th March - Teagasc, Moorepark, Fermoy, Cork
- Thursday, 10th March – Enterprise Ireland, Eastpoint Business Park, Dublin
- Tuesday, 22nd March – Enterprise Ireland, Eastpoint Business Park, Dublin
- Tuesday, 5th April – Teagasc, Athenry, Galway
Following this, companies will be asked to complete a formal application for Food Works bootcamp on 26th and 27th May from which up to 15 companies will be selected to progress through to the programme which begins on 14th June.