It was announced this week that Coca-Cola and Enterprise Ireland have officially launched the 2018 Thrive Project - a six-month leadership programme developed to inspire and nurture the next generation of ambitious food companies to build scale and expand reach.
The Thrive Project gives eight entrepreneurial founders insights, expertise and innovative ideas from some of Coca-Cola’s global experts helping to fuel the companies’ future growth. As part of the programme, the eight entrepreneurs flew to Coca-Cola’s headquarters in Atlanta for an intensive three-day boot camp in July.
Over the course of the bootcamp participants were given a unique insight into business strategy across a range of functions from senior executives in The Coca-Cola Company.
In addition to the inputs from Coca-Cola, the participating companies will benefit from Enterprise Ireland support in the development of a robust business plan and access to one to one coaching.
The 2018 Thrive Project, now in its third year, has been running from June of this year and participants will graduate in January 2019. Alongside the Atlanta bootcamp, participants participate in an Innovation and Strategy masterclass at Coca-Cola’s Western Europe Headquarters in London and meet with business leaders from Innocent to hear their developmental journey prior to acquisition by Coca-Cola.
Speaking this week, Country Manager at Coca-Cola Ireland, Petre Sandru said, "I am delighted that we are in a position to partner with Enterprise Ireland to give these eight great start-up businesses a boost. Ireland plays a special role in Coca-Cola’s global system through manufacturing, R&D, sales, and corporate offices in Dublin, Ballina, Drogheda and Wexford. The Thrive Project allows us to leverage this special relationship between Ireland and Coca-Cola to help a new generation of local food and drink companies to grow."
The companies taking part this year will include:
Brogan’s Bakery (a range of biscuits and cakes)
Cahill’s Farm Cheese (produce artisanal cheeses)
The White Hag (unique craft beers)
Couverture (chilled and frozen desserts for both retailers and food service businesses)
Pow-Cow (high protein and low calorie Greek style frozen yogurt)
Strong Roots (innovative frozen plant based products)
Revive Active (all natural health supplement)
Walsh’s Bakehouse (Waterford Blaa range of bread)