Well done to all the Drogheda students who entered the Drogheda Young Innovators Competition.  We got a great response and some excellent innovative ideas.  We are holding a workshop for all students who entered and any students interested in innovation on Saturday 25 January here at The Mill.

We will be announcing a shortlist of entrants and providing details on the next steps; the judging criteria and – most importantly the prizes!

We will also have a number of guest speakers, including:

  • Shane Curran – Runner up in this year’s Young Scientist Exhibition and winner of 2013 Junior Dragon’s Den.
  • Laura Armada Buch – Local entrepreneur who set up LAB fitness and who will reveal all her secrets of success.
  • Simon Mc Cormack – Managing Director of Western Motors and President of the Drogheda Chamber of Commerce who is going to present on business enterprise and encouraging people to consider a career in entrepreneurship.

It promises to be a very interesting and exciting morning for Drogheda’s Young Innovators. We look forward to meeting all of the shortlisted students there.

Drogheda Young Innovators

The Mill, Drogheda’s new Enterprise Hub, as part of Louth County Enterprise Board’s Enterprise Week, recently held 2 very successful seminars for Women in Enterprise & for the Food, Hospitality & Tourism sectors. Each seminar had an attendance of 35-40 & the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Louth Enterprise Week

We want to thank the Louth County Enterprise Board for their support for both events.

Chaired by Bronagh Conlan of Coomara Irish Spirits, the seminar was led off by Reuven Diaz of Eastern Seaboard Restaurant with a presentation themed ‘Place’. He spoke about Ireland’s huge potential for food commerce. He stressed that we need to ‘create a place in which there is a space to tell stories – the real quality of a brand’.

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Chairperson Bronagh Conlon and the audience deeply engaged during the seminar
Chairperson Bronagh Conlon and the audience deeply engaged during the seminar

He was followed by Bryan Lynch of Bryan Lynch Salads from Ardee. Bryan spoke about the artificial nature of the Celtic Tigers years & how he is now experiencing steady but real growth which he much prefers. He sees real positives in the economy right now.

Carina Mount Charles of Rock Farm Slane, then delivered her presentation on Branding for a sustainable world by telling us about her Rock Farm ecotourism project. She also used Slane Castle as an example of how to build a series of product & service sub brands.

Carina Mount Charles delivers her talk on Sustainable and Branding
Carina Mount Charles delivers her talk on Sustainable and Branding

After the break Olivia Duff, Owner Manager of Headford Arms Hotel in Kells really got the attendance enraptured with her story of ‘The Meath Food Trail’ & her vision for Food & hospitality Tourism in the Boyne Valley for which major plans are in place for 2014. She urged Oriel Food Group group to come on board – using Dermot Seabury’s excellent new Book ‘Ireland, A Culinary Journey in The North East’ as an example & a real starting point for collaboration for all in the Food, Hospitality & Tourism sectors in Louth & Meath. Her urging received spontaneous support & applause from all those present at this landmark seminar held at the Mill.

Co-hosted by Network Ireland Louth Meath & chaired by its President Nicola Watkins, this the first seminar delivered at The Mill was buzzing from the very start.  A lively panel discussion fronted by Olwen Dawe of IBI, Gail McEvoy of McEvoy & Associates & Bronagh Conlon of Coomara Irish Spirits responded to a series of searching questions from Sean Mac Entee of The Mill.  Soon the participants joined in the questioning for what was a memorable session. Bottom line – all that women lack to be much more successful in business is confidence & the opportunities to network – combined with better child care provision by the State .

Lorraine Murphy, The Ideas Coach, then delivered a very timely workshop ‘Let’s Talk Networking’.

Following the break, Yvonne Brady of EVB Sportswear, Gillian Moore of Fuschia cosmetics & Anne Reilly of Pay Check Plus told their own stories of how they are building their respective businesses.  ‘Unless you believe in it, you will not succeed’  seemed to be the common message.

Well done to all who presented, to those who attended & to all who made the day a memorable success.

Richard Martin and Eoin O’Flynn of Flogas Ireland visited The Mill today.  Flogas who were one of the early supporters of The Mill were given a tour of the facilities and introduced to some of the resident start-up companies.

Flogas Ireland's Richard Marting and Eoin O'Flynn at The Mill Drogheda
Flogas Ireland’s Richard Martin and Eoin O’Flynn at The Mill

Managing Director of Flogas Mr Richard Martin stated ‘I extremely pleased to see what has been achieved here at The Mill. Flogas is very proud to have been associated with this exciting project’.

Project Manager Sean Mac Entee provided a tour and also outlined the work we are doing on the ground with schools & startups. He commented ‘Without the generous support of Flogas, which itself started as a small SME in Drogheda, The Mill Enterprise Hub could not have happened. We look forward to the continued involvement of Flogas with us.’

Graham O’Rourke, chairperson said, “We are delighted that Flogas, as one of the biggest employers in the area, are such a strong supporter of The Mill.  From the first day we met Richard Martin, MD, and Eoin O’Flynn, Marketing Director, they showed huge enthusiasm for the project.  Today, on their first visit, they have also offered mentoring to start-up companies in The Mill in energy or related sectors.  This is hugely important to us and again shows their commitment to local employment.”

On the day of the sod turning for The Mill in December 2012 we were joined by students from nearby Our Lady’s College, Greenhills. The twenty four students were exploring the concept of what an ‘enterprise centre’ is and more importantly what it could be for them.

Less than a year later in October 2013 our project manager Sean and the principal of Our Lady’s College, Ms Geraldine Mulvihill, arranged a repeat visit to give the girls a tour of the new facility and get their thoughts on entrepreneurship.

We are sure that some of the most innovative and high potential start-ups of the future are in that group and we look forward to working closely with them on young entrepreneur projects.

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The Mill was delighted to host RTE’s Drive Time programme today. Leading business figures and Drogheda Chamber of Commerce members discussed the pros and cons of the 2014 budget.

Contributors included Chamber President Simon McCormack, Patrick McCloskey (McCloskey’s Bakery), Brian Browning (Clarke’s Bar), Giles Belton (Sherry Fitzgerald Lannon), Padraic Kierans (Anglo Printers), Patricia White (Drogheda Chamber) and Sean MacEntee (The Mill).

Drogheda Chamber provide feedback on the 2014 Budget from The Mill
Drogheda Chamber provide feedback on the 2014 Budget from The Mill