1st May 2019
Minister Pat Breen TD acknowledges the wealth of entrepreneurial talent in the county
Young entrepreneurs from Limerick win places at Regional Finals
Limerick’s “Best Young Entrepreneurs” for 2019 and €50,000 investment fund winners were announced at an awards ceremony hosted by Local Enterprise Office Limerick this week.
As part of a nationwide search launched by Minister Heather Humphreys and Minister Pat Breen to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs (IBYE) for 2019, the six winners and runners-up were chosen from 12 local finalists and will now share a €50,000 investment fund.
IBYE, now in its fifth year, is a nationwide youth enterprise initiative to help 18-to-35 year olds with an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business. In 2019, 1,644 young entrepreneurs entered IBYE, which is an initiative of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and supported by Enterprise Ireland and local authorities.
The county final was hosted by the Local Enterprise Office Limerick in the Castletroy Park Hotel on the 30th April and the M.C for the Evening was broadcaster and author Meghann Scully. Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen TD was on hand to present the awards and congratulate the winners. Among the special guests at the awards ceremony were Cllr Marian Hurley,Deputy Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Senator Maria Byrne, Representatives/Business Leaders and previous IBYE winners Dr. Paddy Finn Electricity Exchange and Chris Kelly, Pinpoint Innovations.
The ‘Best New Idea’ category, with a €7,000 investment fund, was won by Eoghan Mulcahy , aged 22, founder of Deepseek from Clarina Co. Limerick. Deepseek aims to revolutionise the way the world approaches search and rescue systems.It utilises the power of artificial intelligence to automate rescue missions using unmanned robotic systems. The runner-up award and €3,000 investment fund went to William O Donoghue, age 24, from the Ennis Road in Limerick, for his business idea called PWR Protein.
The winner of the ‘Best Start-Up Business’ category and the €15,000 investment fund was Allen Wixted, aged 26 from Lansdowne Park, Limerick , founder of “No Place Like”. This business aims to increase customer satisfaction for retailers by enabling their shoppers to purchase items using augmented reality. With the click of a button a shopper can see an item in their house before they buy it. brief company description>. The runner-up in this category, collecting a €5,000 investment fund, was David Neville aged 28 whose company- JumpA grade is based at the Nexus Innovation Centre In Castletroy.
Meanwhile, the title of ‘Best Established Business’, with an investment fund of €15,000, went to Jonathan Markham aged 32>, founder of Precision Utility Mapping. The Company provides subsurface engineering services to enable clients to use the information for project design purposes and minimise the risk of damaging an underground utility such as gas, electrical etc. The runner-up in this category, scooping a €5,000 investment fund, was Lorraine McGowan from Raheen,aged 34 of So Hockey Ltd.
Allen Wixted was also awarded the title of ‘Best Young Entrepreneur’ for Limerick in 2019.
In the lead-up to the county final, each finalist received targeted business supports through Local Enterprise Office Limerick. They attended an intensive Business Boot Camp, receiving mentoring and support on their business plans, pitch training as well as getting the opportunity to connect with other young entrepreneurs from Limerick.
Speaking in advance of the event, Minister Breen said: “There is no doubt that Limerick is a hotbed of young entrepreneurial talent. IBYE, as always, is proving to be an excellent way to harnass and grow that talent. We have some outstanding winners and finalists here at the Limerick county final who will no doubt be highly regarded at a regional and national level. The Government, through the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation invests €2 million each year into IBYE, enabling all entrants to avail of training, mentoring and support. An initiative of my Department, the IBYE programme has been to the fore in helping some of Ireland’s best young entrepreneurs find their feet and establish their businesses both nationally and internationally”.
Eamon Ryan, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Limerick said: “As our winners clearly demonstrate, youth entrepreneurship is thriving here in Limerick. IBYE is about discovering local potential and nurturing that talent through financial supports, mentoring, training and networking opportunities. In 2019, Local Enterprise Office Limerick supported 53 young entrepreneurs through the IBYE competition and We want to build on that success by supportting Limerick’s young entrepreneurs today and into the future.”
The county winners from Limerick will now progress to the regional finals, which take place on 17th June 2019. In all, 24 national finalists will be selected at regional finals across the country to compete for the overall title of “Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.”
At the IBYE national final on Sunday 15th September, which takes place at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin, a €100,000 investment fund will be awarded to winners.
Further details on the competition and supports available to young entrepreneurs are available through www.localenterprise.ie and www.ibye.ie .
For further press information please contact: Mary Killeen Fitzgerald 061) 557499/ 0877996573
Notes to Editor:
Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is an enterprise initiative run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) around the country and funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland. A €2million investment fund is available through IBYE which supports young entrepreneurs through training, mentoring and direct financial investments.
IBYE was open to people between the ages of 18 and 35 (at the date of application) with an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business, including: individuals, venture teams, partnerships, existing businesses with a new idea, or people overseas(including Irish emigrants) who will headquarter in Ireland.
Each LEO has a total fund of up to €50,000 to invest in six businesses (three category winners and three runners-up) according to criteria including businesses’ investment needs.
The three categories are as follows:
- Best Business Idea (pre-trading) – up to €10,000 investment fund through every LEO (€7,000 for category winner and €3,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)
- Best Start-Up Business (In business 18 months or less), with up to €20,000 investment fund through every LEO (€15,000 for category winner and €5,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)
- Best Established Business (trading for more than 18 months) with up to €20,000 investment fund through every LEO (€15,000 for category winner and €5,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)
The county winners will now proceed to eight regional finals from which 24 contenders (three from each region – one in each category) will be selected to compete for the national title of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.
A further €100,000 investment fund will be available to invest in the winners of the three categories at the national finals, one of which will also be named as “Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.”
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