Well what a day. What started out with a very productive application form for the Social Entrepreneur's Bootcamp turned out to be very worthwhile!
150 applicants applied and 50 were selected for the initial bootcamp. Here all 50 got 10 minutes to pitch their vision to an amazing panel of judges - CEO's, Dragons, Innovators and social entrepreneurs. There is €300,000 of investment up for grabs for the top 8 social entrepreneurs, plus a mentorship programme. This would really allow Trail Kids to develop nationwide!
The vision for Trail Kids is to set up in locations all over Ireland with great coaches leading each location. We can work with suitable individuals in developing their skill sets so that they are a competent and confident Trail Kids coach.
At Trail Kids we aim to make trail running as accessible as it is to go play football. We also have a vision that we can make Trail Kids accessible to all, no matter what your background. We are working with local sports partnerships to fulfil this vision.
The day started off with an early start in the RDS. 3 Dragons gave us all some advice on fulfilling our dreams and there was a lot of opportunities to get around the room and meet likeminded individuals all with their vision of bringing about social change in Ireland. I don't envy the judges! They've a tough job to do!
10.45, Trail Kids, first up to pitch. Nervous, excited, Nervcited (all credit to Eve for the new word!)
Sitting in front of me were Darren Ryan (CEO, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland), Alison Cowzer (Dragon's Den, CEO East Coast Bakehouse) Peter O'Brien (Drewcourt) and Paul Rellis (former CEO Microsoft Ireland). The pitch seemed to go as well as I could expect! fingers crossed for good news next week.
The day was filled with productive workshops and networking opportunities. It came to a close with a great talk from Performance Psychologist Gerry Hussey.
To keep my head clear before the Bootcamp, an IMRA race was taking place and two of our Trail Kids were taking part. Lara Greene and Beverly Colton took on the 5.2km route at Glasnamullen-Djouce. Both put in their stirling performances battling with difficult river crossings, steep uphills and some nice technical terrain. Nothing like some fresh mountain air to keep the head clear before the pitch and keep clear on the vision. Great running from both, finishing in 42 and 53 minutes respectively.
So fingers, toes, arms and legs crossed for next week! Lets see can Trail Kids make the top 16... If not, back next year, it was a great learning experience so far. #SEIbootcamp2017