News & Events

Judging Day for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs

From affordable diagnostics to authentic tortilla chips, 24 young entrepreneurs from all over the country are at the Department of Jobs in Dublin today, to compete for the title of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ (IBYE) for 2015.

The judging panel are individually interviewing all 24 national finalists over the course of today, ahead of the National Final at The Foundry in Google on Sunday 6th December.

1,400 young Irish entrepreneurs, aged between 18 and 30, participated in this year’s €2million IBYE competition, part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2015, which is being run by the Local Enterprise Offices. The 24 finalists from 17 counties have now made it to the national final at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin, for a chance to win an investment of up to €70,000 in their business.

Welcoming the finalists to the Department of Jobs on Kildare Street this morning, Minister Bruton said: “Two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups, and that is why we are putting in place a range of measures, including the IBYE competition, to support, encourage and celebrate the young people who start those businesses that we need. I’ve met with all the finalists competing in this year’s IBYE competition to hear about their job creation plans for the future and I’m hugely encouraged by the quality of their businesses and their ambitious plans.”

This year’s ‘Best Business Ideas’ include affordable diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases, a new Irish whiskey brand, mobile apps for e-Books and CAD drawings and medical devices for bowel cancer patients. In addition, technology for patients with diabetes, software for taxi drivers and an online polling tool for bloggers are also among the finalists in that category.

For start-ups that are less than two years old, the next category includes a wearable fertility tracker for women, technology to convert waste tyres into fuel, healthy convenient foods and beverages and mobile apps for marketing teams. Software for the warehousing industry, a tortilla chip manufacturer and an equestrian data analytics company are also in the final eight of the ‘Best Start-Up Business’ category.

The eight finalists in the ‘Best Established Business’ category feature a fashion milliner, a retail entertainment company, a recycling specialist, a sprayer supplier and a furniture-maker. This third category, for businesses that are at least two years old, also includes a speciality seafood retailer, a product research company and a healthy snack food maker.

Two successful entrepreneurs, Brian Crowley of the TTM Group and Sarah Doyle of Kinesense Ltd, are on this year’s IBYE judging panel, along with Colin Goulding of Google Ireland, Christine Charlton of the Local Enterprise Offices and Tom Hayes of Enterprise Ireland.

Speaking on behalf of the Local Enterprise Offices, Sheelagh Daly highlighted the supports on offer to those young entrepreneurs taking part, saying: “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:

#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, one businessperson will be crowned Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.


24 National Finalists: Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs 2015

Best Business Idea




Local Enterprise Office





Blaine Doyle


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


Niall McGonigle

McGonigle Industries

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


 Liam Sexton


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


 Chris Murphy  

Blue Drop Medical

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


 Peter Hunt


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


 Andrew Nadin

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


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


Conor Devlin 


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

Best Start Up Business




Local Enterprise Office





Diarmuid Byrne


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


Niall Mimnagh

Mimergy Ltd

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

South Cork

James Foody


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


Daniel Loftus

Urban Fox

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


Philip Martin

Blanco Nino

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


Mark Reilly

Aphix Software

Software for the warehousing industry, delivering   real-time stock and pricing information to sales representatives and   customers.

Dublin City

Isolde Johnson

The Cool Bean Company

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


David Carey


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

Best Established Business




Local Enterprise Office





James Keogh


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


Jennifer Wyrnne

Jennifer Wyrnne Ltd

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


Eddy Lynch

Suir   Sprayers

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


Oz Ibrahmi


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


Mark Sheahan

Recycle Right

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


Alicia Treanor

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.


Tim Dunleavy

Dunleavy Bespoke

Designs and creates contemporary handcrafted   furniture and interiors, exported worldwide.