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24 in Best Young Entrepreneur final       printable version
19 Nov 2014: posted by the editor - Ireland

Twenty-four finalists have been selected to compete for the title of Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur in a national final to be held on 7 December.

Medical device inventions, hydration bottles and sprouting crops are among finalist's business ideas in the competition, aimed at entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 30 and which carries €50,000 investment prize for the national winner plus up to €20,000 investment prizes for regional winners. The finalists come from 17 counties (see list).

Over 1,000 young entrepreneurs, all aged between 18 and 30 and from every county in Ireland, applied for the first ever 'Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur' competition, which is being run by the Local Enterprise Offices.  24 finalists from 17 counties have now made it to the December national final at Google's European Headquarters in Dublin.

Launched earlier this year by Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Richard Bruton and supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the nationwide competition forms part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2014, with a total €2million fund available to county winners and overall national winners, who each can win a total of up to €70,000 investment in their business.

Winners will be offered a place on the Google "Adopt a Startup" program 2015.

Announcing the names of the finalists and meeting them at their one-day business bootcamp in Wayra today, Minister Bruton said:

"Two thirds of all new jobs come from start-ups in their first five years of existence - that is why we have put in place a range of measures through our jobs plan to encourage more people to establish and grow new businesses in Ireland. A key part of this is encouraging more young people to consider starting a business as a career choice, and that is why we have put in place IBYE - to support, encourage, and celebrate our brilliant young entrepreneurs. The sheer energy and quality of the 24 entrepreneurs who will compete in the IBYE national final, having come through a competition involving over 1000 applicants, is hugely encouraging. I look forward to seeing more of them over the coming weeks as they compete to be named as Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur".

Portable wind turbine machines, hydration bottles for runners and sprouting barley for animal feed are among the eight ideas shortlisted in the 'Best New Idea' category.  Electricity exchange, reconciliation software for the funds industry and stallion breeding services all made the final eight in the 'Best Start Up Business' category.

The final eight in the 'Best Established Business with Add On' category, features medical devices for monitoring breathing rates, youth communications and on-line fitness services.  The three category winners all have a chance to be crowned Ireland's overall 'Best Young Entrepreneur'.

The Minister will be joined at today's business bootcamp by representatives of the Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Ireland.

Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices highlighted the year-round supports that are on offer to young people thinking of setting up their own businesses.  She said: "The network of Local Enterprise Offices is a first stop shop for any new start-ups or small businesses looking to grow and expand. As well as one-to-one mentoring support and specialised training, the Local Enterprise Offices can also offer access to grants and loan facilities, to help get more businesses up and running."

Further updates about 'Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur' and YouTube videos for each of the national finalists are available through or by searching #ibye on social media.

The official IBYE channel on YouTube is

#IBYE Competition
Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur competition is run by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), and the winners at county level are eligible for an investment in their business of up to €20,000, while the winners at national level can receive an additional investment of up to €50,000. Winners of individual categories can also win additional investments in their businesses.

Mentoring, marketing and other supports are also available to participating businesses at various stages of the competition. The competition is open to individuals aged 30 and under and will be judged under three distinct categories:
·        Best new idea (best idea for a new business)
·        Best start-up business (in business for 18 months or less)
·        Best established business with new add-on (in business for longer than 18 months and is adding a new dimension to their business).

The first stage was a county-based competition (run by the 31 LEOs) which led to the naming of the Best Young Entrepreneur in each county. This stage also included bootcamps and mentoring programmes. This was followed by eight regional finals. At the national final, one businessperson will be crowned Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur.

National Finalists: Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneurs 2014

National Finalists for #IBYE    
Category Name/Company Name Local Enterprise Office
Best New Idea Dara Lynch of Twizt Hydration LEO Galway
Best New Idea Ian Coleman of Life Bites LEO Wexford
Best New Idea Darren Hayes of D.A. Renewable Energy LEO Cork City
Best New Idea Lukas Decker of Coindrum LEO Dublin City
Best New Idea Rebecca Butler of Uisce Bia LEO Westmeath
Best New Idea Ellevyn Irwin of Click Clinic LEO Donegal
Best New Idea Mark O'Reilly Complete Receipt LEO Cavan
Best New Idea Philip Martin of Blanco Nino LEO Tipperary
Best Start Up Niamh Cunningham of Irrelevant Fish LEO Roscommon
Best Start Up Michael Noble of Noble Education LEO Wicklow
Best Start Up Padraig O' Scanaill of Fund Recs LEO Waterford
Best Start Up Eamon Keane of Xpreso LEO South Dublin
Best Start Up Emma-Rose Conroy of Euro Stallions LEO Offaly
Best Start Up Micheál Savage of Lir Analytical Ltd LEO Longford
Best Start Up Steven Murphy of Old Carrick Mill LEO Monaghan
Best Start Up Dr Paddy Finn of Electricity Exchange LEO Limerick
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 Myles Murray of PMD Solutions LEO South Cork
Best Established Business James White of Youth Nation LEO Dublin City
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 Niamh O'Neill of Niamh O'Neill LEO Louth
Best Established Business Tom Ryan of Adsmart LEO Tipperary

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