Castlemine Farms food entrepreneurs

Castlemine Farms feature on new Course in Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Castlemine Farms food entrepreneurs

Free part-time HEA funded Springboard course commences on March 10th

Kilbride man Brendan Allen of Castlemine Farms is one of the contributors to a new Certificate in Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship course at the GMIT Mayo campus in Castlebar.

Fully funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), this part-time Springboard programme is designed to encourage ambitious students to foster and develop their food and product development ideas into businesses. As well as Brendan Allen and Castlemine Farms, other high-profile food entrepreneurs such Galway Restaurateur JP McMahon and Ronan Byrne – “The Friendly Farmer”, contribute to the course, which is receiving great interest from outside the region.

The Level 9 course (30 credits) will commence at GMIT Mayo on Thursday week, March 10th, and be delivered over two days per week for nineteen weeks (see application details below).

Some of the participants in GMIT Galway share their thoughts on the Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship course:

“It’s a really practical hands-on course full of inspiration and totally up-to-date information delivered by the professional team, and being immersed with like-minded people full of positivity and enthusiasm, it’s a great opportunity for anyone thinking of working or running one’s own business in the food industry. The networking that evolves combined with the regular interaction with local enterprises in the food industry is invaluable and quite unique at this level. I have learned so much already after just three weeks and met so many interesting people on the journey. Really looking forward to what lies ahead…” – Deirdre Bennett

“Having always had an interest in starting my own food business, this course has been the perfect starting point for me. I enrolled on this course as I had a thousand and one ideas of what I would like to do, but now I have been given the tools to explore and execute these ideas and turn them into a reality. Between lecturers and guest speakers alike, there is fantastic network of support provided. This course also provides you with the opportunity to start building your network between you and your classmates. I would highly recommend for anyone who has an interest in starting a food business, however small or big their ambition may be, to enrol in this course” – Ciara Daly

Dr Lisa Ryan, Head of the GMIT Dept of Natural Sciences, says: “The course consists of three modules covering a variety of topics from idea generation to business model development, incorporating a (food) sector specific theme. Each module has significant input from external sources to give a real sense of engagement and authenticity. Working in collaboration, the GMIT School of Science and Computing and the GMIT Innovation iHubs at both Galway and Mayo campuses will lead the delivery of this course. We are essentially trying to forge future job creators,” adds Dr Ryan.

Successful applicants will have access to high level support and mentoring throughout the course, together with the opportunity of gaining practical support for business start-ups that will emerge from the programme. Moving away from the traditional style of teaching, this course will take a practice-based, real-world, collaborative approach in its delivery methods.

Applicants must apply for this course through The closing date is 8 March, 2016. For further details see: or follow the course blog For more information please email [email protected] or call 091-742510.