Ignyte avatarThis is the final week of workshops for IgnYte 1. How quickly the last 6 weeks have passed. It has been a learning experience for all concerned. Mentoring activity will continue for several more weeks.

Now we are in recruitment mode for IgnYte 2. We hope to commence this 2nd edition of IgnYte shortly. So please spread the word.

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FoodTech logoThe first talk in the newly established FoodTech@TheMill programme took place on October 29th. 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.

Michael Carey, Chairman of Bord Bia and founder of The Company of Food, a specialist food investment business, will be the second speaker at the FoodTech@TheMill programme on November 5th.

Michael Carey established Jacob Fruitfield, one of Ireland’s leading, privately owned food businesses which included some of Ireland’s best known consumer food products. Prior to acquiring these businesses, Michael worked in a number of multinational food companies in Ireland and the UK including Kellogg’s, Fox’s Biscuits, Evian/Volvic and Cantrell & Cochrane. In 2011 Valeo Foods acquired Jacob Fruitfield and the combined business of Valeo and Jacob Fruitfield has an annual turnover of approximately €300 million and a combined workforce of over 400.

The format of FoodTech is based on six in-depth presentations & case-studies from some of the leading Agri-Food companies in Ireland including:

  • Alltech
  • Country Crest
  • Nature’s Best
  • Keelings

Topics covered include:

  • Technology Applications in Food Service
  • Supply chain for scaling SMEs
  • Accessing International Markets/Major Customers in the Food Sector
  • New Product Development Process
  • Product Portfolio Management
  • Scaling a Food/Agri Manufacturing Process

Ireland, and the Boyne Region in particular, has a proud agricultural tradition and has developed a strong cluster of Agri-Food companies in the region. Globally, there’s unprecedented competition for food due to population growth and changing diets. Technology in the Agri-Food Sector can be used to optimise traditional solutions, by helping to streamline and better manage operations, more efficiently utilise resources and improve communications.

Please contact bcasey@themilldrogheda.ie for more information.

Ignyte avatarWeek 4 of IgnYte started with an unforgettable experience. At very short notice & prompted by Shane of DP, we all went to see the documentary film ‘Unbreakable’ – all about the amazing life (so far) of Mark Pollock.

Mark is totally blind since his late teens & paralysed from the waist down following a tragic accident over 4 years ago. He is determined to walk again & I have no doubt but that like every other goal in his life to date – he will succeed.

The big bonus after the film was the appearance in person of Mark at the Droichead Arts Theatre along with his totally supportive  partner Simone. They engaged in a very open Q&A session lasting over 45 minutes. This was an incredible privilege & a night never to be forgotten.

The postscript was equally surreal.
The RTE news the following morning detailed how an operation in Poland had resulted in a Bulgarian man, paralysed for years, recovering his ability to walk following the transfer of nerves from his nose to his spine!!

Never say Never.

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Ignyte avatarIgnYte – the amazing Youth Enterprise Development Programme run by the Mill will commence on Wednesday 12th November.

Places strictly limited – so get your application in asap!

Further details & application form available at www.themilldrogheda.ie

 

 

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Ignyte avatarWe are now half way through the 6 week Workshop stage. Time has flown. Participants were asked last week to reflect on IgnYte. The following are some of their comments:

‘Friendly atmosphere in which to learn’

‘Open space in which to share creative ideas’

‘Great experience to learn from others’

 ‘Fun uplifting & inspiring’

                                            ‘Motivating’

Paul & Stephanie from Development Perspectives also sought feedback on ‘Methods Used, The Trainers, What’s Missing & Something Else’. I will share the participants comments with you in a later blog.

I have decided to hold a 1:1 meeting with each participant before allocating a Mentor. This is to ensure that I fully appreciate their needs at this point in time. These meeting will take place w/c 20th October (week 4). I am being assisted by Miriam who has loads of experience of working with young people.

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Ignyte avatarOn Monday the 29th of September the first edition of IgnYte began. Shane, Paul & Stephanie from Development Perspectives (DP) were early arrivals in the Mill to greet Mary, Meggan, Sophia & Lyndsey. Jamie & Christina would join the group later that week. Naturally all of the participants were nervous as they were unsure of what lay ahead. The same could be said of DP & myself. We need not have worried as Shane led the group through a series of ice–breakers. What struck me most about the group was their immediate openness & honesty. Questions were answered with a directness that was refreshing beyond belief.

Over the next 18 workshops (spread over 6 weeks) all 6 participants will be brought through a structured programme which will help them to identify their talents & passions, ideas for an enterprise & evaluation of their business ideas. A Mentor will be assigned after week 3. The person assigned will act as both a Buddy & a Business Mentor. A panel of volunteer Mentors has already been established .

I am very pleased with the experiential learning approach adopted by DP. It is delivered with sensitivity & good humour. Well done Shane, Paul & Stephanie!

Back Row: Sophia, Jamie, Sean, Christina

Front Row: Mary, Shane, Stephanie, Megan, Lyndsey

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FoodTech@TheMill: 6 evenings of guest lectures and networking for SMEs from the North-East region supplying IT, Environmental and Value-added Services to the Agri-Food sector

Ireland, and the Boyne Region in particular, has a proud agricultural tradition and has developed a strong cluster of Agri-Food companies in the region.

Globally, there’s unprecedented competition for food due to population growth and changing diets. Technology in the Agri-Food Sector can be used to optimise traditional solutions, by helping to streamline and better manage operations, more efficiently utilise resources and improve communications.

The Mill Enterprise Hub is recruiting 12 small businesses in the region that can benefit from a series of six seminars from some of the leading food companies in Ireland. Sample companies could include:

  • Software Developers for Agri-Food sector
  • Production Specialists
  • Quality Control
  • Environmental Firms
  • Food Producers with export potential
  • New Product Development for Agri-Food

FoodTech logoFormat:

The format will be based on in-depth presentations & case-studies from some of the leading Agri-Food companies in Ireland.

Topics:

  • Technology Applications in Food Service
  • Supply chain for scaling SMEs
  • Accessing International Markets/Major Customers in the Food Sector
  • New Product Development Process
  • Product Portfolio Management
  • Scaling a Food/Agri Manufacturing Process

Details:

The seminars will take place over six weeks, commencing on Wednesday October 29th at 7pm and finishing on Wednesday December 3rd. Each seminar will be 2 hours and applicants will be required to attend all seminars.

Each seminar will be followed by pizza, beer & networking opportunity.

The seminars are subsidised and applicants will be charged a once-off payment of €80 to attend all six talks.

Please contact bcasey@themilldrogheda.ie for more information. To apply, please complete the FoodTech@TheMill Application Form.

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Innovate Drogheda banner

What is ‘Innovate Drogheda’?

A series of 4 events celebrating Drogheda’s Industrial & Entrepreneurial past with its present and future entrepreneurs. The events will cover the Brewing/Distilling, Engineering, Food and Printing sectors.

The Mill Enterprise Hub is partnering with Drogheda Millmount Museum to deliver the seminars.

Why ‘Innovate Drogheda’?

Drogheda has been producing entrepreneurs for hundreds of years, is still doing so and The Mill was opened in 2014 to encourage and support new and existing businesses in the Drogheda region.

Format:

One hour meeting on Thursday evenings, 8 to 9pm.

Free Entry.

Two Guest Speakers.

  • Local historian to outline past economic conditions in Drogheda and focus on one specific industrialist/entrepreneur – will be topical/quirky: 15 to 20 minutes
  • Local entrepreneur to talk about current success/obstacles overcome in similar sector: 20 minutes
  • Q&A: 20 minutes
  • Coffee/Tea

Find out more…

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IgnYte: Preparing our young, mainly un-employed citizens for a better life through self-employment, self-empowerment & self-reliance

Introduction:

The Mill is Drogheda’s new Enterprise Hub. Through its various programs & activities it aims to support Enterprise & Innovation at all levels in the South Louth, East Meath & Drogheda area. A Hub is like a wheel with many different spokes – IgnYte is one of these spokes. It represents one aspect of the Mill’s mission – to be of relevance to as many groups as possible within our Community. This includes those who are dis-advantaged through lack of education, training & opportunity.

Why IgnYte?

Recent CSO figures confirm that over 25% of our young people aged between 18 & 25 are unemployed. The figures for other EU countries are even worse e.g. Spain is at 52%.

In Ireland programs targeted at assisting the young unemployed tend to concentrate on providing them with back-to-work skills. This is laudable. However there is an absence of training supports for those unemployed young people who may be entrepreneurial. In fact it could be argued that overall public policy assumes that there is an absence of entrepreneurial flair amongst this large group. IgnYte intends to address this gap.

What is IgnYte?

IgnYte is a novel project aimed at enabling young unemployed citizens (aged 16-30) to acquire the skills, attributes & personal motivations necessary to become self–empowered, self-employed (even part-time) & self-reliant. 18 workshops, delivered over a 6 week period, will be at the core of the programme. These workshops will focus on helping each participant to develop a business idea based on their desires, interests, passions & networks. The workshops will be based on experiential learning – i.e. learning by doing. Each participant will also be assigned a dedicated Mentor for the duration of the 12 week program (mentoring will continue for 6 weeks after the workshop phase). ‘IgnYte’ is an introductory phase of a larger project. Those participants that show significant promise from their involvement in ‘IgnYte’ will be considered for a follow-on programme.

Selection for IgnYte Lite:

Working with other local youth-focused organisations, we will select a group of 8-12 individuals who each exhibit some of the attributes & traits evident in entrepreneurs. Prior qualifications are not required. Evidence of a willingness to learn & to actively participate is of more importance (See Application Form attached).

Ignyte logoWhen will it commence?

It is planned to run 3 editions of IgnYte. The first of these will commence in late September 2014.

To apply, please complete the IgnYte Application Form & return to:

Sean Mac Entee
Programme Manager
The Mill
Link Rd
Greenhills
Drogheda

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Refresh Boyne, the local community of designers and developers working to refresh the creative, technical, and professional culture of the new media industry in the Boyne region, had their Summer BBQ Night in Brú Bar & Bistro on August 27.

The Mill is actively supporting Refresh Boyne and has hosted a number of Refresh Boyne events over the past six months.

Refresh Boyne BBQ 27.08.14 Sean Downey, Ian Harris, Agnieszka Walsh
Sean Downey, Ian Harris & Agnieszka Walsh
Refresh Boyne BBQ 27.08.14 Bartek Czerwinski
Bartek Czerwinski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a great crowd at Brú, and attendees heard presentations from:

  • Ian Harris – Developer Evangelist at Golgi
  • Fiona Ashe – Flasheforward Communications
  • Barry James – Analytics Manager with Bord Gais Energy
  • Julie Cullen – Young Advisor to Neelie Kroes, VP of the European Commission
  • Brendan Murray – IBM and CoderDojo Mentor
  • Bartek Czerwinski – CPO/Founder at VBOT

The BBQ was sponsored by Honeycomb – Creative Works, Golgi and MOR Solutions.

All Refresh Boyne events are informal and social, where you have an opportunity to listen to fantastic speakers, and exchange ideas with attendees.

Go to www.refreshboyne.org to stay informed of future Refresh Boyne events.

Refresh Boyne BBQ 27.08.14 Brú Crowd