Week 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!!
We 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’
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.
On 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!
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
Food Producers with export potential
New Product Development for Agri-Food
The format will be based on in-depth presentations & case-studies from some of the leading Agri-Food companies in Ireland.
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
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.
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.
One hour meeting on Thursday evenings, 8 to 9pm.
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
IgnYte: Preparing our young, mainly un-employed citizens for a better life through self-employment, self-empowerment & self-reliance
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.
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).
When will it commence?
It is planned to run 3 editions of IgnYte. The first of these will commence in late September 2014.
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.
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.
IgnYte is an Opportunity for Young (16-30) Unemployed People to Explore Self-Employment
Aim: To provide the opportunity & environment for young unemployed people to explore self-employment as an alternative to a life of unemployment.
IgnYte will recruit motivated individuals who have an interest in setting up a new enterprise (social or for-profit, part-time or full-time) onto the Programme.
Are you aged between 16 & 30?
Are you currently unemployed?
Are you interested in one day working for yourself instead of for someone else?
Are you passionate about something?
Have you a hobby you are enthusiastic about?
Do you want to explore starting a new business (perhaps based on your hobby or interests)?
Do you see yourself as different from others?
Do you envy those who work for themselves?
Do you feel others do not fully understand you?
Do you dream about one day becoming financially independent?
Are you not afraid of taking calculated risks?
Are you prepared to work hard to realise your dreams?
Are you willing to commit yourself 100% NOW so as to move closer to becoming your own boss one day?
If you answered ‘yes’ to most of these questions then you are ready to apply for IgnYte. Based in The Mill, Drogheda – IgnYte will fire up your ambitions & give you a fresh outlook on the future. Provided you are willing to participate fully, IgnYte will be a life changing experience. Over a 12 week period you will explore many different ideas for starting a new business, discover your true self & learn many new skills. Everybody who participates in IgnYte will be a winner.
So if you wish to apply for the next IgnYte programme (starts late September), click below to download your application form, fill in your details & drop the form into Boomerang Café, Fair St, Drogheda.
The Mill has partnered with the local creative & technical networking group, Refresh Boyne, www.refreshboyne.org, over the past six months, to deliver a range of topical seminars on technology, creativity, and usability within the Digital sector. They’re hosting a BBQ Night in Brú Bar and Bistro, Drogheda, on Wednesday 27th August from 6:30-9:30pm which will be a fantastic occasion to hear great talks, whilst enjoying a complimentary beer and snack (courtesy of Honeycomb – Creative Works).
Julie Cullen – Irish Young Ambassador to EU Digital Commission
Barry James – Bord Gais Energy
Plus pop-up speakers – for anyone interested just sign up on the night!
It promises to be a great night, with topics on Start-ups, Web Technologies, The Internet of Things and UX Design – so something for everyone that is interested in Digital. Refresh Boyne welcomes new attendees – The talks will be varied and should be of interest to Designers, Developers, and anyone interested in the Web/Tech industries. The event is informal and social so not only will you get to listen to fantastic speakers you will get to mingle and exchange ideas with them.
The BBQ Night is sponsored by Honeycomb – Creative Works (thehoneycomb.net) and co-organised by The Mill.
Find out more and book here (Tickets are FREE but must be reserved).
If you can’t make it, please forward to a friend or follow @RefreshBoyne on Twitter and RT!