A 26-year-old physiotherapist from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown who developed an app that is transforming the lives of thousands of people with Parkinson’s disease all over the world has been named as Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) 2016.
Ciara Clancy of Beats Medical wins a €45,000 investment fund through the Local Enterprise Offices after scooping the coveted title at the IBYE national final.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D., made the announcement in front of 360 guests at the IBYE national final held at Google’s European Headquarters on Sunday 5th March, 2017.
The competition, which is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland and run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices, attracted entries from over 1,800 18-to-35-year-olds, showcasing some of the country’s best and brightest business talent. In addition to becoming Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, Ciara won the ‘Best Established Business’ category.
Ciara, who is passionate about improving healthcare through technology for people with neurological conditions, is providing individually tailored physiotherapy, speech and language and occupational therapy exercises through mobile phones in 40 countries.
A delighted Ciara said that her aim is to continue supporting more and more people with Parkinson’s around the world, as an estimated 10 million people currently live with the disease. She is also developing digital treatments for other neurological conditions such as MS, Stroke, Dyspraxia and Cerebral Palsy. She said: “These success stories keep all of the team at Beats Medical motivated every day to do more for the people that use our service.”
Speaking at the event, An Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Cormac Devlin said
As Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County, I would like to congratulate Ciara Clancy of Beats Medical on her wonderful success at the IBYE National Finals. I've witnessed Ciara progress through the various stages of the Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur competition (IBYE) and her pioneering, life changing medical app enormously benefits those with Parkinson's Disease. She deserves every success and I want to commend the team in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Local Enterprise Office (LEO) for supporting such talent. This competition supports and encourages young entrepreneurs to innovate and create and I look forward to both the next year of IBYE and the future developments from Ciara and Beats Medical."
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., said: “I want to congratulate and say a hearty 'well done' to Ciara Clancy of Beats Medical in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown on winning this year's IBYE title. It is a superb achievement. That said, all of our finalists here today are winners, having taken their ideas and concepts through a tough and rigorous process to make them market ready. Seeing their projects come to fruition is enormously gratifying and is testament to the huge effort they have invested. Today's young entrepreneurs are tomorrow's employers and IBYE, which was set up under the Government's Action Plan for Jobs, has proven to be a very effective way of fostering entrepreneurship in our young people. I want to pay tribute to my own Department, Enterprise Ireland and to the LEOs who have done a great job again this year in supporting this initiative."
Speaking on behalf of the Local Enterprise Office Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Head of Enterprise Georgina Sweetnam, said: “A huge congratulations to Ciara Clancy on winning this national title, thanks to her commitment, drive and passion for enterprise. Through IBYE and other targeted enterprise initiatives, LEO DLR want to encourage many more young entrepreneurs, like Ciara, to avail of specialist training, mentoring and to access to financial assistance through Local Enterprise Offices in every local authority area.”
The judging panel was chaired by Paddy Flynn, Director of Trust and Safety with Google. The other members of the judging panel were Eugene Forde, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Orla Martin, Head of Enterprise, LEO Offaly, Niall O’ Donnellan, Enterprise Ireland, Brian Crowley, CEO, TTM Healthcare and Sarah Doyle, CEO, Kinesense. Broadcaster Claire Byrne acted as MC.
Already through the competition, 180 entrants have won investments of between €3,000 and €15,000 each from their local LEO. This year’s winners and runners-up will share €100,000 in investment funding.
The IBYE national final took place on the opening day of Local Enterprise Week, which runs nationwide through Local Enterprise Offices until March 10th. Information on the supports available to entrepreneurs through the Local Enterprise Offices is available through www.ibye.ie and www.localenterprise.ie.
- Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O'Connor T.D
- Ciara Clancy of Beats Medical
- An Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Cormac Devlin DLRCC
- Senior Enterprise Development Officer, Georgina Sweetnam
- Ciara Clancy with her Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur Award and the Beats Medical App