Wednesday 18 October 2017

Entrepreneur with a heart was almost a banker before developing FoodCloud

My story: Iseult Ward, Business and Economics Studies, Trinity College Dublin

Iseult Ward (left) and Aoibheann O’Brien
Iseult Ward (left) and Aoibheann O’Brien

When Iseult Ward started her college course, Business and Economics Studies (BESS) in Trinity College Dublin, she had in her mind that she would pursue a career in finance or banking.

But that all changed when she got to third year and was introduced to the concept of social entrepreneurship, and she became really attracted to the idea of filling a gap between the worlds of for-profit and non-profit enteprise.

Out of that interest, FoodCloud was born while Iseult was still in third year. The motivation was to trackle the food waste in Ireland, the fifth worst nation in Europe for food wastage per head.

Cleverly, FoodCloud uses a smartphone App to link businesses that have surplus food to charities and local community groups.

Tesco and Itsa Bagel have been their major supporters and they are also building relationships with other companies in the food business.

Iseult, from Phibsborough, Dublin and a former pupil at Scoil Caitriona, Glasnevin, and another TCD student, Aoibheann O'Brien, launched the project.

Iseult continued running it, with the help of volunteers, while Aoibheann, who has a masters in environmental science, went to London for a year.

Iseult graduated last year and with Aoibheann back from London , the pair are fully engaged in developing FoodCloud, with the support of the TCD Launchbox programme for start-ups and now the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC).

"This is definitely my focus now. We are looking forward to continuing to expand," said Iseult.

It may only be in the start-up phase, but word has spread about the socially-minded Dublin enterprise.

Last October, Iseult spoke in front of the former UN general secretary Kofi Annan and 1,300 delegates at the One Young World summit in South Africa, on her plan to eradicate food waste.

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