19October2019

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HortiTrends is NOW Horticulture Connected

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Ambitious Food Start-Ups Sought for Leading Accelerator Programme

Food Works 2017 3
Niall Moloney, Founder of Pow Cow, Alison Cummins, Co-founder of the Wicked Food Company and Conor Coughlan, Founder of Black Twist are three of eight companies who have just completed Food Works, Ireland’s leading accelerator programme for food and drink start-ups. The programme, run by Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc is currently seeking to identify a number of high potential start-up food teams with a strong business idea to take part in Food Works 2017.

Do you have a great idea for the next big food or drink business?

Food Works, Ireland’s leading accelerator programme for food and drink start-ups, is seeking to identify a number of high potential start-up food teams with a strong business idea to take part in Food Works 2017. The programme, run by Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc, aims to foster and encourage innovative new product ideas which satisfy a genuine market need while supporting the growth of the Irish food industry on a global scale.

Since 2012, Food Works has worked with almost 70 start-ups in developing scalable and export focussed business ideas. The success of the programme to date includes:

  • One in five have already achieved export success
  • €1.5m was generated in export sales in 2016 alone
  • Global markets reached span four continents: Europe, Africa, Asia and North America
  • Over €2 million in funding from Enterprise Ireland has been secured

The intensive programme guides successful participants from the initial concept phase through to the development of a winning food product with international appeal and global export potential. This includes the provision of a full range of practical business supports designed to provide participants with an investor ready business plan. Among the supports are consumer market research, one-to-one mentoring, technical advice, commercial viability testing in addition to access to fast track access to research and development (R&D) facilities, possible investors and state funding.

Food Works 2016

The 2016 Food Works programme featured eight start-up food and drinks companies. Four of these are trading, three are ready to launch and one is still in development. The programme concluded on 31st January 2017 and participants had the following to say:

Niall Moloney, Founder of Pow Cow said “With Pow Cow we have developed the first high protein frozen yogurt on the market which provides a guilt-free rich creamy indulgent treat while containing 80% less sugar than standard branded ice creams. Food Works was one of the best things we have done since launching our business. The programme gave us the insights and knowledge to look at our business as a whole and put a strategic plan in place which allows us to accelerate our growth”. 

Alison Cummins, co-founder of the Wicked Food Company said, “Foodworks for us was an absolute game-changer. To have the support of the three agencies was phenomenal and invaluable to our business. We have no doubt that with their help and backing the sky is the limit for us.” 

Conor Coughlan, Founder of Black Twist said “Identifying the strong point of difference for Black Twist - a uniquely spirited approach to combining coffee and whiskey -  posed one of the greatest challenges for our business and Food Works was essential in addressing this. The consumer research with Bord Bia was the most important part of the process for me given the unique nature of my product. It really helped me understand the mindset of the consumer and the bartender, which guided the final branding and messaging. The input from Enterprise Ireland, Teagasc, and fantastic industry advisors supported this in a way that ensured the proposition was as strong as it could be by the end of the programme”.

Application Process 

Individuals or companies who would like to learn more about the Food Works programme are asked to register for an introductory meeting on www.foodworksireland.ie in advance of completing a formal application.  A series of regional meetings with the Food Works team are scheduled in the following locations over the next three months:

  • Dublin               Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
  • Dundalk            Tuesday, April 18th, 2017
  • Galway             Tuesday, April 25th, 2017
  • Dublin               Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
  • Cork                 Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
  • Dublin               Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Following the formal application process, finalists will be shortlisted to take part in an industry-led boot camp, following which the successful final programme participants will be selected.

For further information on Food Works visit www.foodworksireland.ie

Source: HortiTrends News Room