We spoke to Shane Ryan from FEED, a past student of the UCD Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise at the Innovation Academy in UCD. Following completion of the course, Shane is now working on some exciting initiatives including providing a meal for a child in the developing world for every FEED you buy and is currently developing a new range of lunch pots coming to a store near you soon!

Shane, what are you currently working on?

In FEED’s latest incarnation, it is a restaurant, serving healthy but interesting food. After my time with the UCD Innovation Academy, I evolved the idea into a delivery service. Now I’m developing a new product, with the Food Academy programme, we’re aiming for functional but healthy food.

I’m just finishing this 5 month program up. You then pitch to Supervalue, who help you to get you shelf ready. It’s been really beneficial.

Why you chose to undertake the UCD Postgraduate Certificate with Springboard+?

I did the course to plan my business and to figure out how I was going to get the business off the ground. I saw an article about it. I then applied to try and get my career going. I didn’t think I’d get on to the course to be honest and was delighted that I was accepted onto the program. I decided it was too good an offer to turn down, and it was best decision I made!

How did you find the course useful?

The course helped give me the processes that I need to develop an idea and bring it to life. Design Thinking was the best thing I came across. I found this really good for taking an idea through an iterative process to validate and pivot where I needed to. I can now do this in my own business, and the course helped me to recognise this. It also taught me the merit of team thinking, and group thinking. In my business I was on my own, but I’ve realised the best way to solve problems innovatively is to do it in a group.

What did the course inspire you to do after the course?

It helped me to work out what my business was, and this changed several times over the duration of the course. The business isn’t exactly where I want it to be, but the course has really helped. It was also a personal journey. You become a very different person by the end and this gave me a lot of confidence, I was 25, and had graduated from my undergraduate course relatively recently, and I felt a bit of an imposter, but this course gave me the confidence to go on and do all the things I did afterwards in terms of establishing my startup FEED.

What tips would you give to others about to do the course?

For anyone considering the course, they should give it a go. The beauty of the Innovation Academy is the wealth of different backgrounds and nationalities. There is no one ideal Innovation Academy student, which means it is such a good opportunity for so many different people.

Is there anything you would do differently if you were to do it again?

No, I don’t think about things like that. I was not sure what to expect, and it blew my mind. I dived in headfirst, and got a lot out of it as a result.

The UCD Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise is free for eligible job seekers and open for applications for courses in Dublin, Cork and the South-East. Click here to learn more.