It is hard to believe that the first roll out of GMIT’s Certificate in Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship has come to an end! Wow, what an amazing journey it has been for the team, the budding entrepreneurs, the many guest lecturers and myself. We have had plenty of highs, some lows, lots of technical up skilling but overall it has been a fantastic sixteen weeks of creativity, business planning, refining business concepts, networking, lots of food tastings and most importantly the creation of many new friendships.
Last Tuesday, the students worked with consultant Nick Allen (Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation Specialist – Whitwell Consulting) to fine tune their final business pitches. Yes, there were nerves, tension and some sleepless nights in the lead up to Wednesday’s final business pitches but working with Nick on Tuesday really helped to ease some of those nerves. Public speaking is never easy and something that many of us fear (it is phobia for many, including myself, and is known as Glossophobia, I learn something new every day!) but I was blown away by the professional presentations the students delivered last week.
Sixteen weeks ago, on the first day of the course, each student was asked to introduce themselves to the group and many found this a nerve wrecking and uncomfortable experience. Bearing that in mind, it really was hard to believe that I was watching the same fourteen students last Wednesday, as they presented their business to an unfamiliar audience with a new found confidence, enthusiasm and passion – true entrepreneurs. What a difference a few weeks can make!
The student’s business ideas are now a reality for most. The have developed professional and viable business plans and have demonstrated that they can pitch their business and confidently answer questions from potential investors – these students are well on their way to success. With a fantastic panel of in house and guest lecturers, this course has provided the students with the knowledge and skills they require to develop their businesses and become Food Entrepreneurs. We were delighted to work with Brendan Allen (Castlemine Farm), Ronan Byrne (The Friendly Farmer), Declan Droney (www.declandroney.com) Maurice Knightly (Former, O’Briens Sandwhich Bar), Dr. Lisa Ryan, Dr Francesco Noci, Dr. Edel Keaveney and the many guests we have welcomed throughout the sixteen weeks including Enda McEvoy (www.loamgalway.com), Kevin O’Hara(www.independentbrewing.ie ), Peter Boland (www.cases.ie), Nick Allen (Whitwell Consulting) and Olivia Lavelle (www.lingohost.ie) – what a phenomenal team!
Luckily, we continue to work with these high calibre industry leaders as we currently deliver the course to a great class of budding food entrepreneurs on the GMIT Castlebar campus.
Before we parted ways with the students of the Certificate in Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship Galway class, they shared some very kind words:
“The Certificate in Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been an amazing experience. It is deeply practical, promotes a fantastic entrepreneurial attitude and is taught by the most committed, hands on, experienced and knowledgeable industry experts who genuinely care about the well-being of the students”, Ciara Daly
“This course was very enjoyable. The topics covered were diverse and covered in great detail. The dedication of the people giving the course was admirable, everyone was very generous with their resources and their time….I would highly recommend this course” Anita Talbot
“This was a hugely inspirational experience in a hands-on practical learning environment. The delivery was very innovative. I would highly recommend it as a first introduction to business and entrepreneurship or to up skill existing knowledge and experience. It is beneficial to both entrepreneurs and employees working in an entrepreneurial environment” Deborah Coffey
Keep an eye out and support the student’s new businesses being launched over the coming weeks: www.gettingfedup.com, http://www.facebook.com/TheNourishingGardener, https://www.facebook.com/Burren-Natural-Cordials-1751586898404238/?qsefr=1 , https://www.facebook.com/boynevalleybroth/, @GalwayColdBrew, The Copper Pear, Julia’s Truck, My Gourmet Family, Synergy Sea Buckthorn, Ali and Lou Cookery School, Sea Mead and Nutribase HQ.