Our first visit for the day was to a non-profit known as Food Cloud. Food Cloud is a firm designed to eliminate food waste by providing food retailers with data on their food sales and also connects surplus food and distributes it to charities. The business was founded very recently and the presentation was extremely engaging. Overall my thoughts on the business were impressed but not optimistic. I respect and appreciate what they do but, as of now, the business is not profitable and I could easily see it funning into many more problems. Our guide then told us that Food Cloud receives aid from the government because it is considered a non-profit and a charity. This did not completely deter my skepticism towards the viability of their business plan. Someone mentioned how if the firm’s goal is to eliminate food waste, then Food Cloud is essentially working towards putting themselves out of business. Our responded by simply saying, “we would be more than happy putting ourselves out of business. Many non-profits would.” This made me realize just how dedicated Food Cloud was to completing its goal and making a difference in the best way possible. Although I fear for the firm itself, I know that if they do go out of business, then they have done their job.
The second firm we visited today was known as Enterprise Ireland. They are a government agency responsible for promoting and building Irish companies. Overall, I found the presentations slightly overwhelming with the fast pace and content but I still got a lot out of it. Enterprise Ireland seems very unique acting almost as an accelerator. They posses one of the largest funding opportunities in the world for start ups which is, given the size of Ireland, even more impressive. One are I found confusing was, if they provide funding to an Irish firm that competes with another Irish firm then they are using tax dollars paid by the one firm to fund a competitor. This creates an interesting dynamic that only further contributes to the complexities of the situation within the Irish economy.