Kerry's Best Young Entrepreneur 2015 Announced

Kerry’s Best Young Entrepreneurs Win €50,000 Investment

Three of the county’s best young entrepreneurs have won a total investment of €50,000 through the Kerry County Council Local Enterprise Office, as part of the €2million Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition (#IBYE).

Aimed at young and aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 30, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition is an integral part of the Action Plan for Jobs and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through the network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices.

IBYE Awards Finalists

At a ceremony in Ballyseede Castle, Tralee on 30th September, 2015, awards were made for Kerry’s best start-up, best new idea, and best existing business, as well as an overall award for the best young entrepreneur in the county.There was over 80 entries since the competition opened in May, which was cut down to 14 finalists. Read more about our finalists here.

The local winners and investments won were as follows:

Best New Idea

IBYE Brendan

Winning €10,000 in the Best New Idea category was Brendan O’ Connell from Listowel with his business proposal Project Management Live. The business idea is an automated collaborative project delivery platform, where key project information is stored on a live project database. 

Best New Start Up

IBYE Shane

Winning a €20,000 investment for Best Start-Up was Shane Hassett from Killarney with his business Wazp. Wazp combines great design with 3D printing and cutting edge supply chain management technology to bring amazing products to more markets faster and more efficiently.

Best Established

IBYE Erika

Winning a €20,000 investment for Best Established Business was Erika Fox, living in New York, from Glenbeigh with 5A Digital, a business add onto her existing business, The Retro Flame. 5A Digital is a Blogger & Digital Influencer agency.Erika Fox was also named as “Kerry’s Best Young Entrepreneur” for 2015.

All local winners will now represent Co. Kerry regional finals in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary on November 2nd. 2015 A total of 24 finalists will then compete at the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur National Finals in December.

Marking the occasion, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said:

“Central to our plans for jobs and growth is supporting more businesses to start-up. Two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups, so if we are to create the jobs we need we must support more entrepreneurs to start new businesses. Part of this plan is also fostering a stronger culture of entrepreneurship and promoting start-up business as a career option for young people. That is what is behind this new competition to find the best young entrepreneur also ultimately Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. We have excellent start-ups and entrepreneurs in Ireland – we just don’t have enough of them. It is great to see so many excellent entrepreneurs and business-people getting involved in this competition, and I am delighted to congratulate the local winners. I wish all three winners every success in the later stages of the competition – and wish all participants every success as they grow their businesses and contribute to the job-creation we need”.

Special guests at the #IBYE County Awards included Mayor of Kerry, Cllr. Pat McCarthy, Jerry Moloney, Regional Manager of Enterprise Ireland and prominent business people including Mike Fitzgerald and Kate Murphy.

Speaking at the ceremony, Tomás Hayes, Head of Local Enterprise from the Local Enterprise Office, Kerry, paid tribute to all the young entrepreneurs in the region, saying: “As the first stop shop for entrepreneurs and small businesses, it is heartening to see a growing and vibrant community of young entrepreneurs locally. Through Business Bootcamps, mentoring and general business advice, the Local Enterprise Office plays a vital role in supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, on a year-round basis. We will also be working closely with this year’s IBYE winners, to help maximise the return on the €50,000 investment that they have been awarded.”

Details on Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition are available through