7th December 2014
Minister Bruton announces winners at inaugural ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition in Dublin today, with €100,000 investment fund
28 year old Eamon Keane of Xpreso software in South Dublin has been named as Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, winning a total €50,000 investment fund for his business. The Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton T.D. made the announcement in front of 350 guests at the first-ever national final, held at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin earlier today.
Keane, from Templeogue, co-founded the parcel tracking software company in 2013 after dropping out of his PhD studies and has already signed up Ireland’s biggest independent courier company. The young entrepreneur also took the ‘Best Start Up’ award at the competition, which attracted over 1,100 entries when it was launched earlier this year through the Local Enterprise Offices.
Supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the nationwide competition forms part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 with an overall investment fund of €2 million awarded to county winners and national winners.
Minister Bruton also announced two other winners at today’s awards: the ‘Best New Idea’ award and €20,000 investment prize went to Philip Martin from Blanco Nino in Tipperary; the ‘Best Established Business with Add On’ award and €30,000 investment prize went to Dean Gammell from The Group System in Westmeath.
Each of the three finalists also wins a place at the Google ‘Adopt a Start Up’ programme next year. Meanwhile, the Google award for ‘Best Online Promotion of a Business’ went to Padraig O’ Scanaill, from Fund Recs in Waterford.
Congratulating all the winning entrepreneurs at today’s ceremony, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D said: “In Ireland we have great entrepreneurs – we just don’t have enough of them. Two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups and so we must encourage more young people to consider starting a business as a career choice – to become the job-creators of the future.
“We began the first-ever search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur last May, to support, encourage and celebrate the people who start the businesses that Ireland needs. Over 1,000 young entrepreneurs responded to the call and 400 of those have participated in bootcamps and mentoring programmes around the country since then.
“On behalf of the Government, I’d like to congratulate Eamon Keane on winning today’s competition. But more importantly, I’d like to congratulate all 24 finalists – and all 1000 young people who entered this competition. I’ve been personally massively inspired by the energy, commitment and sheer quality of these young business-people. We are relying on these young entrepreneurs to create the jobs of tomorrow, and I am determined to ensure that Government supports them in every way possible on their journey.”
All 31 Local Enterprise Offices ran the competition locally and organised regional bootcamps for over 400 participants. Vincent Reynolds, Chair of the National Network of Local Enterprise Offices said: “Since the doors of the Local Enterprise Offices first opened for business earlier this year, we’ve been supporting thousands of entrepreneurs and new start-ups, helping them on their business journey. For those young entrepreneurs involved in this year’s competition and for anyone else considering starting a business, the doors of the Local Enterprise Office are always open.”
In all, 24 finalists from 17 counties competed for the overall title and 9 of them made a live pitch to the judging panel at today’s final round at the Foundry in Google. This year’s judging panel included two entrepreneurs: Sarah Doyle of Kinesense and Brian Crowley of the TTM Group, alongside Colin Goulding of Google, Mary Fitzpatrick of the Local Enterprise Offices and Tom Hayes of Enterprise Ireland.
Details for all the finalists are available at www.ibye.ie and by searching #ibye on social media and YouTube.
Notes to Editor:
For all media queries around #IBYE, please contact Engage Ireland
(Whitelight Consulting/Engage Ireland):
Sarah Bohan on 087 65 39936 / office @ engageireland.com
Adrienne Ferguson on 086 355 2974 / office @ engageireland.com
Photography Note (reproduction free)
Reproduction free images of Minister Bruton with the IBYE winners are available from Photocall Ireland (from 16.00 on 07/12/14)
Videography Note (reproduction free)
Footage and clean feed files of Minister Bruton with the IBYE finalists are available from Joe Keogh Photography (from 17.00 on 07/12/14)
National Finalists: Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs 2014 (in order of their judging interviews)
National Finalists for #IBYE
Category Name/Company Name Local Enterprise Office
Best New Idea Ellevyn Irwin of Click Clinic LEO Donegal
Best New Idea Lukas Decker of Coindrum LEO Dublin City
Best New Idea Rebecca Butler of Uisce Bia LEO Westmeath
Best New Idea Mark O’Reilly Complete Receipt LEO Cavan
Best New Idea Ian Coleman of Life Bites LEO Wexford
Best New Idea Dara Lynch of Twizt Hydration LEO Galway
Best New Idea Darren Hayes of D.A. Renewable Energy LEO Cork City
Best New Idea Philip Martin of Blanco Nino LEO Tipperary
Best Start Up Padraig O’ Scanaill of Fund Recs LEO Waterford
Best Start Up Dr Paddy Finn of Electricity Exchange LEO Limerick
Best Start Up Niamh Cunningham of Irrelevant Fish LEO Roscommon
Best Start Up Micheál Savage of Lir Analytical Ltd LEO Longford
Best Start Up Michael Noble of Noble Education LEO Wicklow
Best Start Up Steven Murphy of Old Carrick Mill LEO Monaghan
Best Start Up Emma-Rose Conroy of Euro Stallions LEO Offaly
Best Start Up Eamon Keane of Xpreso LEO South Dublin
Best Established Business Myles Murray of PMD Solutions LEO South Cork
Best Established Business Tom Ryan of Adsmart LEO Tipperary
Best Established Business Niamh O’Neill of Niamh O’Neill LEO Louth
Best Established Business Pat Divilly of Pat Divilly Fitness LEO Galway
Best Established Business Shane Byrne & Philip Kirwan of Showoff LEO Wicklow
Best Established Business Dean Gammell of The Group System LEO Westmeath
Best Established Business Rhona Togher of Restored Hearing Ltd LEO Sligo
Best Established Business James White of Youth Nation LEO Dublin City
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