The sun is shining and it feels like summer; in Ireland that can only mean one of two things – its either exam time or the kids are back to school! And so, for the lovely students of the Food Innovation & Entrepreneurship class, it is exam time. As many of the students have not been in formal education for some time, sitting an exam was a pretty daunting thought for them so the nerves were at an all-time high this week. However, study they did and Im pretty sure they all did very well despite the post mortem I may have overheard in the canteen afterwards!! On a brighter note, the students also took part in a social media workshop with Olivia Lavelle (@OLavelle #foodtechire) Olivia demonstrated how vital the use of social media platforms are in developing and promoting any business. It is a key marketing and sales tool used by everyone in every industry. It was a great day of buzz words, snapchatting, tweeting and instagraming (I really don’t think that is a word!). Understanding Facebook insights and dark posts can have a huge impact on driving your business and getting more ‘bang for your buck’. As Olivia suggested, you do need to put the time in to understand the trends and to drive your business via social media. She suggested the students spend one hour per week on Facebook insights and an hour blogging. It is a great way to begin and it also drives customers to your business website. The younger generation are superstars when to comes to social media – let them show you how its done!
We also had a very relaxing visit from The Friendly Farmer, Ronan Byrne, who popped in to talk the students through their final presentations next week. Understandably, the students are not too excited about delivering a 7 minute business pitch in front of an audience of people they don’t know but after listening to Ronan break it down into core sections and themes, the time really will fly by (that’s what I am telling them anyway!!) The week wouldn’t be complete without a final session with Declan Droney who spoke about “the purple cow” concept by Seth Godin – transform your business by being remarkable. Declan asked each student what is remarkable about them and in doing so, we discovered some interesting and fascinating things about each other – we really do have a remarkable class! The student had some amazing stories, some of which will be used in the introduction to their business pitch next week. We are all very excited about next Wednesday and cannot wait to see such high caliber food entrepreneurs present a great selection of innovative businesses. We will be keeping everyone updated via social media, so stay tuned!