On March 3rd 2016 more than 80 students from Drogheda, Dunleer and Laytown, attended an Innovation Workshop organised by the Coca-Cola International Services team in Drogheda. The transition year students availed of an opportunity to work on their ideas for the Drogheda Young Innovators competition, and to practice some divergent and convergent thinking as part of the brainstorming process.
According to Anna Keller, Business Systems Director, Coca-Cola International Services, “We hope that the workshop opened students’ eyes and minds to new ways of thinking, and will act as an idea generator for applying to the DYI Competition. “Innovation is crucial to the success of Coca-Cola, and after the workshop, all of the local Coca-Cola International Services team commented on the ingenuity, enthusiasm, and creativity of the students. Judging by the quality of material at the workshop, we’ve no doubt that the Drogheda region is producing future business and social leaders which we can be proud of”
The guest speakers included Ellen Pender, a Transition Year student, who discussed the benefits of attending CoderDojo sessions and her interest in technology and science. She impressed attendees with her focus on how technology can be easily learned by teenagers, and used to further improve their lives. Colin Guilfoyle, the founder of Drogheda-based company, Nebula Interactive, gave a presentation on the games and apps which have been developed in Drogheda, his route to becoming self-employed, and how an interest in gaming and technology has benefited his career, and assisted in the innovation process that he has adopted in his day-to-day business activities.
“The Drogheda Young Innovators competition has allowed us an opportunity to develop the innovation mind-set amongst local transition year students ”, says Breanndán Casey, the BDM of The Mill Enterprise Centre, “This year the programme is being developed and supported by innovative local companies, such as State Street, Coca-Cola International Services, East Coast Bakehouse, Fitz Scientific, Paycheck Plus, and Mor Solutions. It is great to see local companies showing their support to youth entrepreneurship projects in Drogheda, and fantastic that we can highlight innovation that is taking place every day in our community. This workshop was a great opportunity for students to hear how Coca-Cola has maintained, and developed it’s innovative thinking over the last 130 years”.
“At least 1 in 10 of Drogheda’s students will be running their own business when they finish education” says Geoff Fitzpatrick of Jack Codys Brewery. He continued “We want to encourage them and reward their initiative across the Business, Science, and Social Entrepreneurship categories. In the future, they will be employing people in Drogheda and making a very positive contribution to the local economy and community. The final of the competition will take place at East Coast Bakehouse’s new Innovation Centre in May”