Drogheda Young Innovators

The 2015 Drogheda Young Innovator competition kicks off this week!


We are seeking applications from individuals or teams on innovation ideas in the following categories:

– Science and Technology – a technical or scientific innovation

– Enterprise / Business – a new business idea

– Social Enterprise – a non profit innovation that will change our society

The choice is yours – but it’s got to be an original idea.

Science and Technology category relates to innovation projects in any of the sciences.

Enterprise / Business category is for potentially profitable business innovation projects.

Social Enterprise – Not for profit social innovations that improve or make better the communities we live in.

Who can apply

Applications are open to students attending the following schools:

  1. Drogheda Grammar School
  2. Our Lady’s College
  3. Sacred Heart Secondary School
  4. St Joseph’s Secondary School
  5. St Mary’s Diocesan School
  6. St Oliver’s Community College
  7. Scoil Uí Mhuirí, Dunleer
  8. Coláiste na hInse, Bettystown


There will be prizes in each category for both individual and team entries and one overall competition prize.

Closing Date

Application deadline – 27 February 2015, Project Submission deadline – 20 March 2015

Application Form & Judging Criteria

You can download an application form here. The form also outlines the judging criteria and other key information about the competition.

For more information please visit www.droghedayounginnovators.com

A nice piece in the Drogheda Independent newspaper on 28th January, highlighting a visit from the Tánaiste Joan Burton and local TD Ged Nash to The Mill! With the official launch of the programme, applications for Ignyte 2 are now accepted on our dedicated page.

Tanaiste Joan Burton launches - Ignyte - Ignyte - Free Start your own Business programme for those unemployed aged 16 to 30 years of age in Drogheda Dundalk Balbriggan Louth

Over a 12 week period you will explore many different ideas for starting a new business, discover your true self & learn many new skills.

Ignyte training occurs three days per week from 10am to 12:30pm. The first six weeks will take place at the training room in The Mill Enterprise Hub and mentors will work with participants on a one-to-one basis over the following 6 weeks.

Tanaiste Joan Burton

Please contact Sean MacEntee on 087 2586916 or phone The Mill directly (041 9802444) to obtain extra information.

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Ignyte – The Free Start your own Business programme for those unemployed aged 16 to 30 years of age in Drogheda, Dundalk,  Balbriggan and surrounding areas in County Louth

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.

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

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Ignyte logoIgnYte 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.

IgnYte Application Form

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In this its first year, the Drogheda Young Innovators competition attracted a diverse and wide range of projects from secondary schools located in Drogheda.

Judging was held over two days and culminated in an Expo last Saturday in the Laurence Shopping Centre.

The Mill was keenly involved as the competition closely matches with its mission of supporting & promoting Innovation & Enterprise – especially to young people.

Click here to find out who were the competition award winners.

Drogheda Young Innovators logo logo

St. Joseph's CBS students

2nd year students from St. Joseph’s CBS attended The Mill this week, where they received their awards for winning a Business Profiling competition. The two winning teams did an excellent job on researching ‘Jameson Whiskey’ & ‘Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream’. They were accompanied by their Business teacher Brian Lynch. They also participated in a workshop at The Mill – ‘So You Want to Start a Business’?

Entrepreneurial talent was very much in evidence. Watch the Class of 2018 !!

On Thursday 20th of March last, 15 Leaving Certificate students from Sacred Heart School, along with their Business teacher Ms Maura Callan, attended a workshop at The Mill presented by Project Manager Sean Mac Entee.

A lively discussion took place covering areas such as enterprise, risk, innovation & female entrepreneurship. The Mill sees workshops such as this as critical in raising the profile of entrepreneurship to young students.

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

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.