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Food & Drink Start-ups Encouraged to Enter Food Works Accelerator Programme Supports Valued at Over €50,000

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Food & Drink Start-ups Encouraged to Enter Food Works Accelerator Programme Supports Valued at Over €50,000

Food & Drink Start-ups Encouraged to Enter Food Works Accelerator Programme Supports Valued at Over €50,000
July 24
12:01 2019

Food Works, an initiative of Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc, is calling on food and drink entrepreneurs throughout the country to apply for its 2020 programme. The supports offered by the programme are valued at over €50,000 and include in-depth consultancy and advice from the three agencies, access to consumer and market research, feasibility funding and bespoke mentoring with industry experts.

The current participants of the 2019 Food Works programme exemplify the diversity of food and drink businesses that can benefit from the programme. They range from early start-up T4 Adventure’s trekking meals to more established brands such as Silk Tree Botanics’ alcohol-free spirit and Clintons Crisps. Ireland’s first snail farm, Gaelic Escargot, is also participating in this year’s programme, along with an oat-based savoury snack start-up.

As part of the programme, participants will benefit from one-to-one mentoring with Ireland’s best food and drink business minds including John Stapleton, co-founder of the New Covent Garden Soup Company and Little Dish, Joanna Walker, food retail expert and former buyer with Sainsbury’s and M&S, Eamonn Rice, business consultant and former Kerry Group Director, Matt Bentley, Marketing consultant, Gavin Sherry, manufacturing specialist, Moira Creedon, food business financial planning expert, and Fiona Fitzpatrick, who specialises in driving transformation growth for brands in the food industry.

Speaking about the launch of the 2020 recruitment campaign, Karen Tyner, Senior Manager at Bord Bia, said: “Food Works is the only programme of its kind in Ireland, where three government agencies have come together to help develop innovative food and drink start-ups into commercially viable businesses with export potential. This year we are looking for scalable and export driven Irish food products that satisfy a genuine market need. As the diversity of participants for the 2019 programme suggest, this is a programme that is open to many and varied start-ups, so we encourage food entrepreneurs at all levels to apply.”

Food Works are recruiting individuals and companies at the early stage of their development, who believe they have a cutting edge product which addresses a gap in the market. Interested companies can apply online at meet with the Food Works team.

The agri-food sector is an important part of the Irish economy, with total exports amounting to at least €13.6 billion in 2018, and the value of Ireland’s food and drink exports has increased by more than 64% in the last eight years.

The Food Works journey begins with an introductory meeting with Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc followed by a formal application. Applicants are then selected for the programme based on defined criteria including innovation, market insight, ability to scale and export, commercial potential and strength of team. The cost for entry to the programme is €3,000 however the market value of the programme has been estimated at over €50,000.

For further information on Food Works visit


Leonie Lynch, Juspy, Shane Ryan, FEED, and Aileen Cox-Blundell, Veggie Heroes, who were among the nine new Irish food and drink companies selected to take part in Food Works 2018.

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