Tallaght based company shortlisted for €1 million project

FoodCloud, a Tallaght based project that connects businesses that have a surplus of food to charities in their communities, has been shortlisted for THINKTECH, a €1 million project to grow ideas for a better Ireland.

In total, 11 finalists will compete for access to an award fund of up to €750,000 in grants as well as support and mentoring to further develop their social innovations.

The finalists will take part in a development programme devised by Social Innovation Fund Ireland and supported by Google.org & the Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government, with the overall award recipients announced in December at an Awards ceremony at Google’s EMEA HQ in Dublin.

FoodCloud, whose co-founders Aoibheann O’Brien and Iseult Ward are pictured above, aims to create a one stop shop for the food and charity sector in Ireland for food redistribution thus vastly improving the efficiency of matching those who have too much food with those who have little.

Currently FoodCloud’s website allows business’ to upload details of their surplus food and the time period in which the food can be collected.

A text message is then sent automatically to a charity in the community who then collects it directly from the business.

The Company aims to combine their more sophisticated retail level platform with the Bia Food Initiative at Warehouse level.

THINKTECH was recently launched by Minister for Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government, Simon Coveney, TD. which has granted matched funding of €500,000 to a €500,000 donation by Google.org.

The initiative is a collaboration between Social Innovation Fund Ireland and Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google which invests in teams with bold ideas that create lasting global impact.

*The other ten finalists announced are: ChangeX, Cybersmarties, SourceIT, iScoil, The Freebird Club, ThirdAge/Agewell, Thriftify, ALONE/NetwellCASALA, Student Volunteer and Virtual College Community.

Minister Simon Coveney, T.D., said:

“I am delighted to see such a wide range of impactful technology-driven solutions to the social issues we all want to see resolved in Ireland, and look forward to meeting the final Awardees.”

Co-Founder of FoodCloud, Aoibheann O’Brien, said:

”We are delighted to have made it to the final 11 applicants for the THINKTECH programme. “Participating in THINKTECH would represent a huge opportunity for Food Cloud to scale up our positive social and environmental impact.”

Director of Google.org, Jacquelline Fuller said:

”We see great potential for these ideas to make a lasting impact and they also demonstrate Google’s view that technology has the power to make a real difference and create positive change in society.”

CEO Social Innovation Fund Ireland, Deirdre Mortell said:

“The shortlisted projects selected have already demonstrated progress towards measurable social impact; they have the ability to scale across Ireland; and have identified a wide range of technology solutions including hardware, software, online platforms and apps to deliver their ideas.”

“Out of almost 70 applications received we have managed to select 11 of the most promising and in our view important innovative ideas that use technology to help to improve lives and create a better Ireland.

“From a diversity perspective, encouragingly 54% of the applications received were ideas spearheaded by female founders.”

In the past week, short-listed finalists have presented their proposal to an interview panel made-up of business and social leaders and taken part in a workshop with technology entrepreneur and investor Shane Deasy and digital business experts from Google, Dublin.