Offaly students urged to enter food entrepreneur competition

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Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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Offaly students urged to enter food entrepreneur competition

Offaly students urged to enter food entrepreneur competition

Secondary school students across Offaly and the country are now invited to take part in the new ‘GROW 2 CEO' competition as GIY and Cully & Sully have set about finding Ireland’s brightest young food entrepreneurs.

‘GROW 2 CEO’ combines food growing and entrepreneurship to inspire students to grow their own food, create a soup recipe using what they have grown and develop a potential new business.

Through this initiative, growing kits will be delivered to 21,000 students across the country that apply to take part in the 2018 competition. The kits will include everything the students need to grow vegetables including the seeds, pots and soil plenty of expert growing tips from GIY and lots of SOUPort from Cully & Sully. Students are asked to pair up to undertake the challenge.

Throughout the ‘GROW 2 CEO' competition, students will be allocated a series of challenges. In the final phase, they will be asked to enter the details of their new recipes and business plans for the judging phase. Six student teams will then be selected for the competition shortlist. These finalists will be invited to a ‘Dragon's Den' style pitch scenario at the home of GIY, GROW HQ in Waterford on May 18, 2018, where the winning duo will be selected and crowned ‘GROW 2 CEO' Champions.

Speaking at the launch of the new competition founder of GIY Michael Kelly said, "This initiative aims to foster a spirit of food entrepreneurship in Irish secondary schools and discover Ireland's next young food entrepreneurs. It's a really fantastic opportunity to learn all about the food business from seed to shelf; we know that to make really good food you need really good ingredients and you can't get better than growing your own. We’re very excited to be part of what could potentially result in finding the country's next brilliant food enterprise."

Cullen Allen of Cully & Sully said, “We are very excited to embark on another year of growing with our friends at GIY. Last year’s finalists literally blew us away with their creativity. Over one-fifth of all Irish secondary schools entered last year. We want to get that number to over 50% of all Irish secondary schools. We can’t wait to see what the classes of 2018 have in store for us."

During the ‘GROW 2 CEO' grand final, which is set to be held in May 2018, a panel of judges will taste test the product and review the business model and plans of the shortlisted finalists. The winning students will be awarded a prize pot of €5,000 which includes a €3,000 food garden for their school, 2 iPads for the winning team of two students and the winning teacher will receive an overnight trip to Ballymaloe. The winning class will also all get a cool Cully & Sully hoodie.

Registration for participation in the competition is open from November 8, 2017 until February 28, 2018 with the grand final set to take place at GROW HQ on May 18, 2018.

School students and teachers planning to participate in this nationwide competition can now sign up to take part via www.cullyandsully.com/ourgarden

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