The search is on for Galway's best young food entrepreneurs

Registration is now open for GROW2CEO — a competition organised by Cully & Sully and GIY to find Irelands’ next young food entrepreneurs.

GROW2CEO will give secondary school students everything they need to start growing some food, get a better understanding of what goes into the food they eat, and how they can make healthier choices in their own lives. The campaign involves four challenges, which will take students on a fascinating journey where they will create their own food business and soup recipe while learning all about where food comes from.

Free growing kits will be delivered to all of the teachers who register for the 2019 competition. The kits will include everything the students need to grow spinach including the seeds, pots, soil, and plenty of expert growing and recipe development tips from GIY and Cully & Sully.

In the final phase, they will be asked to come up with a soup recipe and business plan. Three classes will then be selected for the competition finale. These finalists will be invited to a Dragon's Den style pitch scenario at the home of GIY, GROW HQ in Waterford, on Wednesday May 15, where the winning class will be selected and crowned GROW2CEO champions 2019.

"Last year’s competition was a phenomenal success, it is really interesting to see the keen level of interest and the vast knowledge that teenagers have about their food – they are far more interested than their peers of 10 or 20 years ago," said Michael Kelly of GIY. "We hope that the GROW2CEO campaign will encourage more students and schools to make growing and food nutrition a bigger part of the curriculum and therefore encourage more students to consider food entrepreneurship as a possible career choice in the future.”

The growing kits will be delivered to all schools that register to take part and the competition and challenge will commence on March 4. The GROW2CEO grand final will take place on May 15, where a panel of judges will taste test the students' products and review the business model and plans of the shortlisted finalists.

The winning students will be awarded a prize pot of €5,000 which includes a €3,000 food garden for their school, champion hoodies for the winning class, and the winning teacher will receive an overnight trip to Ballymaloe.

Participation is free and registration is open until February 15. Students and teachers planning to participate in this nationwide competition can now sign up to take part via www.grow2ceo.ie

For more information follow @GIYIreland, @cullyandsully, and #GROW2CEO on social media.

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