As Whitney sang ‘The Children are our Future’
I’m a big supporter of education. And education has changed so much since I was in school. Students now have an opportunity to learn about enterprise, business and entrepreneurship. How brilliant is that?
Last year, I was invited to be a Dragon in Scoil Ui Mhuiri, Dunleer, Co. Louth and potentially invest in student enterprise.
That was a huge understatement. I was blown away by the level of creativity and innovation. I invested in four businesses last year, one of which won Best Sole Trader in the Louth Enterprise Awards – Kaptured by Katy, a calendar based on wonderful images taken by amateur photographer Katy. I was pipped at the investing post with GoaTy Goodness, an ice-cream manufacturer based on Goats milk. The ice cream was delicious and they went onto win Best Food Production co. at the Louth Enterprise Awards.
I returned last night and again the standard was incredibly high again.
There were enterprises making toys out of recycled materials, a clever way to keep mobile phones tidy when charging, hand knitted and stitched Christmas decorations. Food featured high with cupcakes and make your own hot chocolate mixes. As the students are working toward the Christmas Fair on the 30th November, enterprises focused on that market, selling gifts such as Binge Box, American sweet bowls and candle holders made from clay.
Technology featured high aswell with a young man looking to create a prototype which alerts you when your car is broken into it and another group looking at using software to manage the school book rental scheme.
For me, I invested in three businesses.
Pro Teen Men
These are three guys (hence the name men in it) who make their own protein bars. Us Dragons questioned the ‘Men’ because girls eat protein bars and play games too. I sampled their delights and was impressed. A few tweaks and we could be the new Protein player in the industry.
These guys sell earphones that look like apple earphones, phone chargers with leads that look like ropes, night lights and usb pens with over 200GB memory. I work with OpenApp, an IT company that design, develop and support Heathcare informatics. They are based on Parnell Street and the amount of shops selling said equipment are many. There has to be money in it, if there are so many shops selling it.
I joined forces with Thomas Clare, an accountant based in Dunleer for this investment. It should be fun.
Help Bees Throw Seeds
This is another great project. A young guy will make and sell seed bombs. A simple idea but isn’t it always the simple ones that pay?
I’ll keep you informed of how we are getting on. But right now, I’m inspired by these young men and women. The future is bright – just look at all the schools around the country who are doing something similar. Maybe my Grandad’s belief can be extended to having an education and your ideas can travel the world.