Saturday 20 January 2018

30 under 30 stars nab top prize at Griffith College enterprise scheme

Kate and Annie Madden are the brains behind Fenu Health. Photo: Conor McCabe
Kate and Annie Madden are the brains behind Fenu Health. Photo: Conor McCabe
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Enterprising Meath teenagers Kate and Annie Madden have won top prize at Griffith College's Student Enterprise Competition.

Kate (15) and Annie (14) are the brains behind FenuHealth, which makes horse-feed flavouring products. Among its products are FenuSave, which aims to prevent gastric ulcers; FenuCure, which aims to help cure gastric ulcers in horses; and FenuFeast, which is a treat product for horses and ponies.

The sisters also won the senior category at the Dublin City Student Enterprise Awards, coordinated by the Dublin City local enterprise office.

The company is exporting products to Europe and the Middle East, and is currently recruiting distributors for the Irish and UK market. Retired racehorse Forpadydeplasterer is a "brand ambassador".

The Madden sisters featured in the Sunday Independent '30 under 30' list of upcoming business stars. Previously they were prizewinners at the BT Young Scientist competition.

Alltech founder Pearse Lyons helped out in the early days of the business. "The first time he rang me I was at soccer training, so I missed his call," Annie Madden told the Sunday Independent in October.

"Then he rang me again but this time I was swimming, so again I couldn't take his call. Eventually I rang him back and we talked and he was really nice.

"He gave us a lot of advice. He said that if we trusted him he would be able to give us a way to cut 90pc of our costs. So we said: 'Okay we trust you' - and it did!"

The Griffith College competition asks students in transition year, 5th year and 6th year to develop a real product and use social media to market it.

Second place went to Learn to Drive, a pocket-sized board game aimed at people taking their driver theory test, created by Darragh McGee, Eoin Lennon, Conor Fagan and Cian Hanlon. Third place went to Dean Doyle and Diarmuid Doyle, creators of sliotar-shaped clocks with an ash base.

Sunday Indo Business

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