Courses in

Natural Sciences

GMIT Springboard Certificate in Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Certificate in Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Springboard)

OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS FOR FEBRUARY 2021 START. A highly engaging and practical part time 18 week course designed to equip students with the knowledge and skill set required to develop their food/product ideas into a viable business.

Discipline: Natural Sciences

Location: Galway - Dublin Road

NFQ Level: 9

Mode of Study: Part time

Places: 30

Why Study?

GMIT has developed this free, 18 week part-time course to enable ambitious students to transform their ideas into new businesses.

This is not a traditional classroom taught course. Students will interact with a broad range of project hosts, practitioners, industry leaders and entrepreneurs including well known entrepreneurs such as:

  • Brendan Allen (Castlemine Farms)
  • Ronan Byrne (Friendly Farmer)
  • Declan Droney (Kinvara Smoked Salmon)
  • Pat McDonagh (Supermacs)
  • Maurice Knightly (formerly O’Briens Sandwich Bar)
  • John Daley (John Daley Foods)

There will be two days of lectures per week - one day online, and one day in the classroom.

The practical application of learning is embedded in the course through regular real-life project challenges and the incorporation of industry and practitioner guest speakers and contributors into the course.

Participation in multi-disciplinary teams ensures students are exposed to alternative knowledge, skills sets and perspectives. This broadens participants' horizons and stimulates the cross-fertilisation of ideas and capabilities.

Delivery of the course will be led by the Innovation Hubs at GMIT which have enabled dozens of potential entrepreneurs to take their ideas from concept to full commercialisation.

*** Download the Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship brochure here ***


What our graduates say:

“The course really helped me develop my business idea and business plan.  More importantly, it helped me with the transition from homemaker to entrepreneur”.  Hilda Patton

“The course is full of inspiration with totally up-to-date information delivered by a professional team”. Deirdre Bennett

Programme Modules

Students will undertake three modules as part of this course, each worth 10 credits.

The three modules are:

  • Creative Thinking and Opportunity Recognition
  • Food Sector Entrepreneurship
  • Food Sector Specific Skills


Career Opportunities

This course is focused on forming and supporting job creators. Throughout the course, participants are encouraged to seriously consider food entrepreneurship as a viable alternative to employment. There is a strong emphasis on the development of implementable and sustainable economic and social entrepreneurship ventures and projects.

In addition to the development of technical and transferable skills required for entrepreneurial activity, we also offer individual practical supports to participants who have identified business ideas, which they wish to pursue further. In such cases we act as a start-up platform introducing participants to experts and mentors as well as potential sources of funding.

For those seeking employment, rather than hoping to create employment, the course provides participants with sought-after skills in the areas of creative thinking, innovation, opportunity recognition, networking and team building, entrepreneurial thinking and action. Confidence building and ability to act autonomously, as well as peer-to-peer network development will be a strong features of our course. Standard CV and interview preparation are offered to all participants but due to the nature of the course are not always required.

Essential Information: 

Start Date

01st February 2021



18 weeks


Entry Requirements

Honours Degree (Level 8) in any discipline, or an Ordinary Degree (Level 7) in any discipline plus two years of relevant experience working/ self employed in the area of food entrepreneurship/ innovation, or five years working/self employed of relevant experience in the area of food entrepreneurship/innovation.


Application Process

You must apply for this course through, where you will need to first register. You cannot apply directly to GMIT.



There is no charge for this course for qualifying candidates.

To check if you are eligible for no fees, go to

You must provide GMIT with written evidence that you meet the eligibility criteria before the course commences.


Student Cards

You are eligible for a Student Card when undertaking this course


Springboard+ is funded by the Department of Education and Skills and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

Download Document(s): 

Contact Us

Maria McDonagh or Peter Butler

GMIT, Dublin Road Galway

Maria McDonagh
Tel: +353 (0)91 742510

Peter Butler 
Tel: +353 (0)91 742328