FoodCloud founders crowned Ireland’s top young social entrepreneurs

20 Nov 2014

Aoibheann O'Brien, co-founder, FoodCloud

FoodCloud co-founders Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien have scooped €10,000 in investment after being named Ireland’s top young social entrepreneurs by Ben & Jerry’s Join Our Core competition.

They will now go on to compete in the global Join Our Core competition, which will be held across London, Singapore and Tokyo.

Just this week, Ward was featured in Time magazine’s second ever Next Generation Leaders series.

FoodCloud – a business that first featured in’s Tech Start-up of the Week – is a Dublin-based social enterprise that via a smartphone app links businesses that have surplus food with charities and local community groups so nothing goes to waste and it all goes to a good cause. 

As well as the €10,000 investment, FoodCloud will receive mentoring from social entrepreneurs network Ashoka and will see its business logo featured on an exclusive Ben & Jerry’s ice cream tub in 2015.

Innovation at the core

Aoibheann O’Brien, co-founder of FoodCloud, presents to the judges

“To be part of the Join Our Core final is amazing,” O’Brien said.

“Some of the previous finalists were incredibly inspirational to us and helped us kick start our own business in Ireland. To join that line-up is great. Above the investment and recognition, it’s the Ashoka mentoring part of the winner’s prize that will really help us achieve our goals. ”

Ward and O’Brien will also go on a trip to Ben & Jerry’s birthplace in Vermont in the US, where they will gain additional training and hear from US-based entrepreneurs and socially responsible business leaders.

“I was bowled over by the quality of finalists at our Join Our Core European grand final this year,” Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield said.

“FoodCloud had an impressive business model and their passion and drive really shone through. Join Our Core is all about finding the next big thing in sustainable business, people driving real change in their communities.

“We are fortunate to be able to offer our winners invaluable business mentoring and connection to a global network of change-makers, thanks to our partner, Ashoka.”

Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years