Feed wins final leg of AIB Start-up Academy Summits in Belfast

Shane Ryan’s Feed takes the Belfast leg of the AIB Start-up Academy Summits 2017, and the last place at the eight-week Academy which begins on Monday, February 13th

Shane Ryan

Shane Ryan’s company Feed produce a range of healthy meal pots designed for athletes, and for every pot sold one meal is donated to a child in the developing world.

 

Feed has won the last place in this year’s Start-up Academy. Shane Ryan’s company produce a range of healthy meal pots designed for athletes on the go to fit in with their busy lifestyles, and for every Feed pot sold, one meal is donated to a child in the developing world. Feed won the last place after pitching to a judging panel at the final Start-up Academy regional Summit event in Belfast. The event, held in the innovative Life Church in the heart of the city, was one of four summits designed to fill the last four places on the 2017 Academy, and bring start-ups, business experts and entrepreneurs together for an evening of sharing lessons learned, tips and networking. 

“This is awesome, this is a little bit more meaningful for me to win in such a public forum which was very nerve-wrecking for me. The standard was really high. I think it’s a really strong vote of confidence for the business and as a young person who is trying to create something and add value to something, I feel great and it gives me confidence. I’m so excited about the Academy,” said Ryan.

Pitched against two other businesses for the final spot were Rory McEntee from Jobface, a specialised online recruitment platform that delivers significant time savings to employers across the hiring cycle through the use of a number of unique features and Brenda Woods of MINU, a travel case that offers a functional but stylish solution to taking more of your favourite skincare and make-up as hand luggage when you travel. 

Feed will now join 13 finalists from across Ireland, moving one step closer to winning the Academy’s coveted top prize, which is worth €200,000 for their business.

The judging panel for the Belfast Summit were Des Moore, head of First Trust Bank, David Murphy, head of digital in the Irish Times and Martin Adair from Invest NI.

“I am very confident that all the companies who pitched tonight will be successful and will have a future. Feed seemed quite mature in the way they thought about the manufacturing of their product, having outsourced and they also had very clear financials. They had come up with up a number of unique angles in terms of the high protein content and their social responsibility aspect helped them stand apart from what is a crowded but very profitable market,” said Murphy, head of digital in the Irish Times.

MC for the evening was broadcaster and journalist Mark Simpson, who works on BBC NI’s flagship evening news programme BBC Newsline. 

The panellists for the evening’s discussion were Bill Wolsey, Belfast’s leading hotelier, whose businesses include the Merchant Hotel, Little Wing pizza chain and the new Bullitt Hotel. He is also founder of Ireland’s largest hospitality group, Beannchor Group; Diane Roberts, managing partner of Xcell Partners which helps entrepreneurs to create high growth, export focused businesses and she also runs StartPlanetNI; Eleanor McEvoy, CEO of Budget Energy who are one of the main suppliers of electricity to the Northern Ireland market and a dragon on RTÉ’s Dragons’ Den and Caroline Wilson, founder of Belfast Food Tour.  

There were also presentations with top tips from Diane Roberts, Xcell Partners and Invest NI, Neal Taylor from Grant Thornton and Lucy Molan from Google.

Snacks and drinks were provided by fellow start-ups John Blisard with Bubbacue, Gareth Irvine from Copeland Gins and Felicia Matheson with Prohibition Drinks.

The eight-week Academy will begin next Monday in The Irish Times and the finalists will make a final pitch to win the highly coveted prize at a final event in April.


To find out more, and follow the Academy, visit www.aibstartupacademy.com

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