Applications are now open for ambitious food and beverage entrepreneurs to take part in Food Works 2015, a business development and training programme for food and drink start-ups.
The 2015 programme, run by Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc, was officially launched today at Wicklow Wolf Brewery in Bray, Co Wicklow. The brewery was one of the programmes 2014 participants and plans to create 16 new jobs in the coming years as it grows its business.
Food or drink entrepreneurs, or companies trading for less than four years, developing an innovative product and looking to expand their business are being sought to take part in the programme. The Food Works programme aims to help young companies to work towards becoming major international businesses in markets across the globe while creating new jobs at home. Successful companies will be introduced to suitable investors to help them to fund a scalable business during the programme.
Information meetings will be take place across the country for those interested in participating on 15 October in the Radisson Hotel, Athlone, Co Westmeath, 21 October in Tayto Park, Ashbourne, Co Meath and Cork Institute of Technology, Co Cork. All meetings start at 5.30pm.
Over the past two years, a total of 43 start-ups from dairy, snacks, meat, seafood and beverages have participated in the Food Works programme.
Quincey Fennelly, co-founder of Wicklow Wolf said: “Once we made the decision to produce beer on a commercial level, we decided to look for help from wherever we could get it. The Food Works programme was recommended to us and we were delighted to be accepted to take part. It was very challenging and brought us on many occasions outside our comfort zone, but, it really helped us to become more disciplined about planning our business for the future for both the domestic and the export market. I would recommend it to anyone who has a good business idea who has the ambition to develop it into a strong food business capable of exporting around the world.”
Rachel Nolan, co-founder of Nobó and a participant in Food Works 2013 says her business has come a long way since participating in the programme. “After first launching into stores eight months ago, our first product ‘Frozen Goodness’ is now available in over 100 stores around the country. This will be increasing significantly over the next number of weeks as the product is rolled out to SuperValu stores nationwide. We were delighted to recently receive two Great Taste Awards in the UK and to be included in the Great Taste ‘Top 50 Foods’ in the UK and Ireland out of 10,000 products entered and tasted."
To register to attend the seminars, or for more information on Food Works 2015, visit www.foodworksireland.ie.