The cream of Ireland’s young entrepreneurs gathered at Google last Sunday for the National Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. The event is the culmination of a six month long campaign and competition to find young entrepreneurs across the country and help them access the support and services of their Local Enterprise Office.
Over 1,800 young entrepreneurs took part this year. They took part in business boot camps in their county and went forward to the county finals in the Best Business Idea, Best Start-Up and Best Established. The 93 County winners advanced to the Regional Finals where 24 secured places in the National Final. The finalists met with An Taoiseach on 16th February before participating in a pitch training masterclass with Rob Marr of Catalyst Consult at Google later that day. They advanced to the final round of Judging on 2nd March in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
The National Final was another fabulous day. Family, colleagues and supporters gathered at Google on 5th March and the venue buzzed with excitement. RTE’s Claire Byrne returned to the stage at Google to host this event once again. She put them all through their paces before inviting the top 3 in each category to pitch to the judges and field questions. Minister Pat Breen and Minister Mitchell O’Connor were on hand to announce the winners and present the awards.
The category winners were:
- IDEA: Alvan Hunt, Hexafly
- START-UP: Samuel Dennigan, Strong Roots
- ESTABLISHED: Ciara Clancy, Beats Medical
Runners-up in these categories were:
- IDEA: Damian Mason, Flexibod
- START-UP: Roisin Hogan, Hiro by Roisin
- ESTABLISHED: Heinrich Anhold, StableLab
The Digital Media Award was won by Richard Barrett of Pundit Arena.
Ciara Clancy, supported by the Local Enterprise Office Dún Laoghaire Rathdown, scooped the title of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur to huge cheers and roars in the auditorium.
This truly is an incredible programme supporting and nurturing Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs and we are delighted to project manage it on behalf of our stakeholders. It’s our pleasure to work in partnership with Google, Engage Ireland, Ahain Group, Nubie, Joe Keogh Photography, Mark Stedman Photography, Eurest Catering and Robin Cahill and The Google AV team to deliver this fantastic project!