On Wednesday, January 21st, The Mill hosted the first event of 2015, with Eamon Leonard being the guest speaker for the night.
Eamon shared a few tips on how to gain self-confidence and how stepping outside of your comfort zone can help you succeed at work.
The Mill hosted an informal Tech Mentoring session with Jeff Young, Principal Scientist & Distinguished Inventor at Adobe on November 25th. It was attended by circa 12 representatives from local IT companies who heard great insights into growing an Innovative IT business and the process of selling a business a large multinational.
Kevin Brennan, Food Safety & Quality Consultant of Teagasc, gave an overview of Teagasc activities, joined by Edward Spelman, Managing Director of Ballymaguire Foods (Country Crest), who spoke about the company.
Joe English of the Louth Local Enterprise Office gave an overview of support structures for starting/expanding businesses, joined by Eamonn Flynn, Managing Director of Keelings Solutions, who spoke about Keelings Solutions.
Michael O’ Dowd from Enterprise Ireland gave an overview of support structures for expanding businesses and specialist support for Agri-Food Sector.
Paddy Callaghan, Managing Director of Nature’s Best spoke on the complex issues of scaling a business from the farmyard to international distribution.
Michael Carey, Chairman of Bord Bia and founder of The Company of Food, a specialist food investment business, was the second speaker at the FoodTech@TheMill Programme on November 5th.
Bronagh Conlon from The Real Irish Food Company also visited The Mill to talk about the company. The Real Irish Food Company is a specialist manufacturer of preserves, sauces and dressings based in Drogheda. The company was founded in 1997 by food enthusiast Bronagh Conlon and was acquired by Jacob Fruitfield in 2007.
The first evening was opened by Eileen Bentley, Entrepreneurship Manager at Bord Bia and Kevin Tuck, Managing Director of Alltech, who spoke on innovation within Alltech, their story of growth to a billion dollar company and key learnings they made along the way, including some of the mistakes!
Ten SMEs including representatives from FitzScientific, AgriNet, Kingswood Computing and Ezy Technology heard Kevin Tuck, Managing Director of Alltech give a detailed presentation on AllTech’s growth to a €1 billion company, and how its relentless focus on innovation and R&D has enabled it to continue growing.
The final talk took place on Tuesday November 25th and focused on the engineering industry of the town. Dan Mullan from the Millmount Museum spoke on Grendon’s Foundry and Stuart Carolan of Cisco Engineering Ltd on their story of building an engineering business in Drogheda. Grendon’s Foundry once employed 600 people at Drogheda Docks which produced diverse products including steam train engines, canal ships, and bridges (including the obelisk at Oldbridge).
Cisco Engineering is about to celebrate 40 years of business in Drogheda. During this time Cisco has satisfied the needs of local major industry, including Irish Cement, Premier Periclase, Indaver Ireland and to the wider area including New Boliden Tara Mines, TEGA Industries (India) and BW Volund (Denmark).
The range of activities of Cisco extends to the provision of stainless steel and aluminium, structural steel for new buildings, installation of plant for existing ones, alteration work to structures internally in factories, and Factory Maintenance for companies such as Tara Mines, Indaver and Irish Cement.
Cisco Engineering has been involved in many projects in the Louth area, including the Boyne Cable Bridge, Laurence Shopping Centre, and construction of the M1 Motorway.
On November 13th, Dr Conor MacCormack of Mcor Technologies visited The Mill Drogheda Enterprise Centre to talk about the company and the future of 3D printing. Frank Gallagher, the Drogheda Historian, joined Dr. MacCormack at the event to talk about Drogheda’s rich past in relation to the printing sector. Drogheda has a strong tradition of printing over the past two centuries, and still includes a number of the largest printing firms in Ireland.
Mcor Technologies, the locally-based 3D Printer company, lead a fascinating talk at ‘Innovate Drogheda: Printing’ on the opportunities available in 3D printing and how it is applied in a number of sectors including Engineering, Medical Devices, Aerospace, Construction, and Design.
Local historian, Frank Gallagher, spoke on how the printing industry was the original source of the ‘knowledge-based economy’ as it gave ordinary citizens the opportunity to educate themselves. This line of thought is easily extended to the current focus on new use of technology (including 3D), and how it is critical that Irish people, young and old, are ‘literate’ in the use of technology in order to develop a prospering economy. Drogheda has a proud tradition of printing, going back to the late 17th century, and the emergence of Mcor Technologies as one of the leading global 3D printer companies reflects the renewed focus on expanding the knowledge-based economy in the region.
On 16th of October, Andrew Workman of Dunany Flour spoke on the development of the company and the types of grain he grows on the farm, while Liam Reilly from the Drogheda Millmount Museum highlighted the “McCann’s Irish Oatmeal” establishment history at Beamond.