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Claire Byrne to host Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur National Final this Sunday

Search for Ireland’s ‘Best Young Entrepreneur’ reaches grand finale on Sunday, December 6th at Awards Ceremony in Google

Radio and Television Broadcaster Claire Byrne, has been confirmed as the host of this year’s ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ National Final at Google on Sunday, December 6th

This weekend’s ceremony comes at the end of an eight month search, launched by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. and Minister Richard Bruton T.D. through the Local Enterprise Offices, to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur for 2015. 

After a series of 31 local finals and eight regional finals involving 1,400 competitors, the 24 finalists, all aged between 18 and 30, are now preparing to deliver their live pitches to the judging panel on Sunday. Minister Bruton will be naming Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) on stage, presenting €100,000 in investment funds to the three winners on the day. 

Supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices, the competition is designed to seek out and support entrepreneurial talent across the country. Now in its second year, the competition was opened up this year to include young Irish entrepreneurs based abroad, looking to set up operations in Ireland. 

Byrne has been impressed by the calibre of the IBYE finalists this year, saying: "I’ve been following the progress of this competition since the launch earlier this year. These National Finalists are already carving their own paths in business and as role models for their peers, they are helping to promote entrepreneurship as a viable career option for more younger people." 

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s final at The Foundry in Google, Minister Bruton said: “Having met all 24 National Finalists on a couple of occasions now, they are an inspiring group of young entrepreneurs. Their energy, commitment and, above all, their impressive businesses are providing a great example to many other businesses and young people who we are relying on to create the businesses that will be the bedrock of the Irish economy. Over two thirds of all new jobs are created by businesses like those created by these young entrepreneurs, and it’s been a pleasure to be involved in the development of their businesses”. 

At last year’s inaugural national final, Eamon Keane at Xpreso Software in South Dublin was crowned Ireland’s best young entrepreneur for 2014; Philip Martin won the ‘Best Business Idea’ category for the Blanco Nino tortilla-chip factory in Tipperary and Dean Gammell from Westmeath took the ‘Best Established Business’ award for 

This year’s judging panel includes two successful entrepreneurs: Brian Crowley of the TTM Group and Sarah Doyle of Kinesense, alongside Colin Goulding of Google, Tom Hayes of Enterprise Ireland and Christine Charlton of the Local Enterprise Offices. 

The supports on offer to all young entrepreneurs taking part were also being highlighted by Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices. She said: “Through the course of this year’s IBYE competition, 450 young entrepreneurs have already participated in business bootcamps, 92 local winners have won ‘game changing’ investments of between €10,000 and €20,000 for their businesses and hundreds more have been offered training and mentoring opportunities.” 

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


For all media queries around #IBYE, please contact Engage Ireland: Sarah Bohan on 087 65 39936 / office @ Adrienne Ferguson on 086 355 2974 / office @ 

Notes to Editor: 

Claire Byrne:

Claire is a radio and television broadcaster with RTÉ where she specialises in current affairs programmes. 

She presents Claire Byrne Live on Monday nights on RTÉ One and RTÉ News Now. The current affairs programme brings in-depth analysis of current issues and topical reports. Previously she was part of RTÉ’s flagship current affairs programme Prime Time for two years.

Claire currently hosts a current affairs programme on Saturday afternoon called Saturday with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1. The topical current affairs show questions agendas, dissect the week gone by, and debate the likely issues of the week to come.

Previously she has worked with Newstalk and TV3 in Ireland, ITN and Channel 5 in London and Channel 103FM and the BBC in the Channel Islands.  

#IBYE Competition Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition is run by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in the Local Authorities Network, 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 Business Idea (best idea for a new business)

Best Start-Up Business (in business for up to 24 months or less

Best Established Business (in business for longer than 24 months) 

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 to select the 24 national finalists. At the national final on December 6th, one businessperson will be crowned Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.

Photography Note (reproduction free)

Reproduction free images featuring Claire Byrne, and separately of Minister Bruton with the IBYE finalists are available by contacting Engage Ireland above. 

Videography Note (reproduction free)

Footage and clean feed files of Minister Bruton meeting the IBYE finalists are available by contacting Engage Ireland above. 

24 National Finalists: Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs 2015 

Best Business Idea CategoryKilkenny: Blaine Doyle of GlowDX

A diagnostics company that uses molecular science to provide a more economical method of diagnosing neglected tropical diseases. 

Donegal: Niall McGonigle of McGonigle Industries

Designs medical products, specifically N-Tech – a medical device that will improve colostomy patients’ lives. 

Waterford: Liam Sexton of Photo2Cad

A mobile app that allows users to convert images into fully-scaled CAD drawings through their smartphones. 

Galway: Chris Murphy of Blue Drop Medical

Develops technology capable of remotely detecting and monitoring foot ulcers in patients with diabetes. 

Clare: Peter Hunt of Piggyback

Develops new technology for taxi drivers, which will improve workflow, manage fleet and optimise overall operations.  

Louth: Andrew Nadin of Dooskey Irish Whiskey Distils a range of flavoured Irish Whiskies aimed at the young adult market, with a focus on innovation. 

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown in Dublin: Curtis Moran of Rook

A mobile app to provide location-based free access to e-Books for users. 

Kildare: Conor Devlin of uHerrd

Software that enables journalists and bloggers to create and place opinion polls on their articles or websites. 

Best Start Up Business Category

Carlow: Diarmuid Byrne of EquiRatings

Equestrian data analytics company for national and international clients in the sport of eventing. 

Longford: Niall Mimnagh of Mimergy Ltd

Develops sustainable technology which converts waste tyres into valuable commodities, such as fuels and chemicals. 

South Cork: James Foody Ayda

A wearable fertility tracker for women, worn during sleep to pinpoint their exact basal body temperature. 

Mayo: Daniel Loftus of Urban Fox

A mobile app that helps marketing teams analyse customer and behavioural data more efficiently.

Tipperary: Philip Martin of Blanco Nino

Europe’s first authentic gluten-free corn tortilla manufacturer for the food service and retail sectors. 

Louth: Mark Reilly of Aphix SoftwareSoftware for the warehousing industry, delivering real-time stock and pricing information to sales representatives and customers. 

Dublin City: Isolde Johnson of The Cool Bean Company

A consumer food brand which includes a range of healthy, nutritious, gluten-free bean meals in a pot. 

Kildare: David Carey of Nutraplenish

A lifestyle nutrition company, manufacturing healthy food and drink products for the retail sector. 

Best Established Business Category

Wicklow: James Keogh of Rathwood

A retail entertainment company employing 200 people with over 30,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, outdoor activities with a year-round events schedule for families. 

Leitrim: Jennifer Wyrnne Jennifer Wyrnne Ltd

A milliner within the fashion industry, designing and creating high quality, hand -crafted hats and head pieces. 

Waterford: Eddy Lynch of Suir Sprayers

A company that specialises in the testing, selling and servicing of sprayer parts nationwide, for the horticultural and agricultural sectors. 

Roscommon: Oz Ibrahmi of Hex CNC

A product research and development company for the medical sector, specialising in CNC machines (computer numerical control). 

Limerick: Mark Sheahan of Recycle Right

A waste collection and recycling business for households, which uses innovative software solutions. 

Cavan: Alicia Treanor of Nutri-Snax Ltd

Develops, manufactures and distributes a range of nutritious, healthy snacks and biscuits for the food sector. 

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown in Dublin: Peter Roberts, Roberts of Dalkey

Wholesaler and retailer of fresh Irish seafood, with four retail locations. 

Kildare: Tim Dunleavy of Dunleavy Bespoke

Designs and creates contemporary handcrafted furniture and interiors, exported