During the month of April 2022, I had the fantastic opportunity to work with the Endeavor Ireland team in Dublin through Endeavor’s Immersion Program. This program allows Endeavor employees to work with another office around the world for a month – both exploring a market or industry of interest, while adding value and supporting another local Endeavor team.
I chose Ireland for my Immersion trip given its rich culture, heritage, and innovation in food and agriculture. This has become a theme for me: from living in Cape Town, a diverse agricultural region that specializes in amazing wines, olives, flowers, and more, to working in Indiana, a truly central hub of farming and agriculture in the Midwest. Ireland continues in this vein – with strong traditions in dairy, farming, and of course, whiskey.
During my month-long Immersion trip, I experienced the wonderful blend of stalwart brands being met by a new generation of innovative entrepreneurs. I visited the great, global brands of Guinness and Jameson – both founded by local entrepreneurs who infused innovation into companies that led to family dynasties. I also had the opportunity to learn about their newer competitors, like Wicklow Wolf, founded by Quincey Fennelly, who supplied a great pint and excellent pizza (Simon is a trained baker with a knack for dough) in the Wicklow countryside, and Teeling Whiskey, where I was treated to a wonderful urban distillery tour by co-founding brother Stephen Teeling. These founders are building the next generation of beverage brands that will push entire industries forward with exceptional quality.
The Endeavor Ireland network reflects this competitive strength in food and agriculture. Sam Dennigan, the founder of Strong Roots, was selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2020. Strong Roots is a high-growth plant-based frozen food brand – that recently received a fantastic investment from McCain’s to boost their global growth. The office’s strong network of mentors includes Bryan Meehan, who led, scaled, and ultimately exited Blue Bottle Coffee – one of the world’s premier third-wave coffee brands.
For many decades, Ireland entrepreneurs have punched high with local and global food, beverage, and agriculture brands. The spirit of entrepreneurship is strong in the local ecosystem, and the Endeavor Ireland team is doing fantastic work to select and support the best high-growth entrepreneurs who are paying it forward as they scale. Thanks to the entire team – Rory, Mica, and Ellen – for hosting my trip to Dublin and immersing me in local food and agriculture. Until next time – sláinte.