The search for Mayo’s budding food and drink entrepreneurs is gathering pace, as the countdown begins to the Food Works Ireland 2016 closing date for applications. Food and drinks entrepreneurs and those with a concept for a start up business in the sector are being urged to put themselves forward for this year’s Food Works programme. The programme is jointly run by Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc and aims to helps start-ups develop a successful and scalable global food business. The closing date for applications is May 10.
The intensive business development and accelerator Food Works programme designed especially for food and drinks start-ups. The Food Works team has worked with 60 Irish food and drinks brands to date helping them to launch and grow their brands both in the Irish and international market place over the last three years. The Food Works team have revealed that 60% of these businesses are now trading, a figure deemed extremely positive given the expected high rate of start-up failures which normally occur within the first 12 months of launching, furthermore a staggering 32% of these business have also begun to export their products.
2016 will be the fourth year the Food Works programme has been open to the industry for applications. Throughout the programme a series of workshops and one to one mentoring takes place. Successful participants are also 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.
Interested participants are invited to complete an application form online at www.foodworksireland.ie before May 10 and following this a number of companies will be selected for Food Works bootcamp on May 26 and 27 from which up to 12 companies will progress through to the 2016 programme which begins on June 14.