The Greatest Thing since Sliced Bread? Food Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship come to life for MSc Insights and Innovation Students
The Greatest Thing since Sliced Bread?
Food Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship come to life for MSc Insights and Innovation Students
Bord Bia and DCU Business School teamed up this year to develop an exciting new Masters programme to find, train, motivate and develop a new generation of innovation champions across the food, drink and beverage sectors. The programme, MSc Insights and Innovation, is an 18 month programme combining study and work placement. It commenced in September 2020 with an intake of 15 students after a highly competitive recruitment process.
Under the guidance of Programme Director Dr Peter Robbins, the programme ensures that students learn from some of Ireland’s food and innovation industry leaders from both Bord Bia and DCU’s networks. This week saw the group undertake a Green Venture pitch, as part of their Entrepreneurship and Innovation module with Dr Roisin Lyons. This 8-week module develops participants’ understanding of opportunity recognition, innovation, the entrepreneurial ecosystem and strategic planning. Students also develop their own business idea, working in groups to bring a sustainable or green idea from concept to product or service with a plan for further scaling up. This module hones two vitally important skills in the development of talent for Ireland’s future in food and beverage innovation: growth mindset and opportunity identification, along with sustainability.
The module culminated in a presentation and pitch of these product ideas to a team of judges composed of:
- Noreen Lanigan – Bord Bia Regional Manager for Europe and North America – and Sustainability Champion – DCU alumnus
- Eadaoin McCarthy – Insight and Innovation Consultant
- Eamon Quinn – serial entrepreneur and real-life Dragon
The five ideas presented by MSc Insights and Innovation students focused on the food and beverage industry are:
- Cook Inside the Box – a B2B subscription meal and experience service for companies to promote healthy eating among employees
- Ishka Force – sustainable cleaning system for institutions
- Revolve – a circular economy glass bottle collection service
- ReGin – a premixed low alcohol gin product
- Upstream – a product to increase the efficiency of recycling and waste management in industrial kitchens
Module Coordinator Dr Roisin Lyons said,
The innovation and professionalism displayed by these groups was of an incredible standard. The judges, guests and I were very pleased by the level of depth and validation that the class had sought in their venture strategies. My thanks to the judges for their time and excellent insight. It is wonderful to see such a broad range of ideas, all which share core values in sustainability and waste reduction.