DIT student in final for Ireland?s best young entrepreneur

Posted: 5 December, 2014

04 December 2014

DIT student Ian Coleman has been shortlisted for the final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition with his new enterprise ‘Life Bites’.  From an original 1000 applicants, Ian is one of just twenty-four entrepreneurs to go through to the final, and is one of only eight to be shortlisted in the ‘Best New Idea’ category.   The national final takes place on 07 December. 

141204_life bites Logo 4 v2 LB

Ian, who is in the final year of his DIT/TCD BSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, began his company in August of this year. Frustrated by the amount of nutrition related misinformation offered to the public, and the low visibility of the regulated professionals in the field, Ian started working on a solution to make evidence-based nutritional advice available to everyone. He developed 'Life Bites', an online dietician clinic with integrated apps which allows the user to track their physical activity and nutritional intake.

 Ian wants to allow an individual to take more control of their own health, supported by appropriate professional advice.

“Using our website, the customer can have an initial video call with a dietician.  Their nutritional intake is then tracked on an app made by our partner 'Nutritics' while their physical activity is tracked by an app made by our partner 'TickerFit' - both brilliant Irish Companies.  This information is then synched to the webplatform, providing their dietician with accurate information.” Other features automate the administrative aspects of the consultation in a secure manner.  “By integrating technology, innovation and numerous dieticians, we make dietetics available to the public and make the public more readily available to dieticians.”

141204_Ian Coleman_life bites

Ian entered the Young Entrepreneur competition at county level in Wexford, winning €10,000 funding for his new company.  He then went on to win at regional level, and now he is one of just 24 finalists nationally.  “It's been a rollercoaster!  Since my regional win, I've pitched to numerous groups of investors, made a network of industry contacts and attained many skills that will put me in good stead for the launch of LifeBites over the coming months. As a fourth year student of an intensive course I find it difficult to balance everything, but at the same time I really feel that my course has put me in good stead - the level of transferable skills is shocking, especially pitching, as presentations are integral to the human nutrition and dietetics degree course!”

The beta version of Life Bites has been completed and trialled and the full version is expected to be available by mid-January 2015.

The ‘Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition is run by Local Enterprise Offices around the country as part of the Action Plan for Jobs.  Prizewinners can win up to €70k investment in the entrepreneur’s business and a place on the Google “Adopt a Startup” programme 2015. 


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