Local Winners heading for ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ National Final

Louth scoops two of the top three prizes at the Regional Finals held in Cabra Castle this week.

Two young Louth entrepreneurs have won a place at the national final of the prestigious ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, for a chance to share a €100,000 investment fund.IBYE Winners 2015

Andrew Nadin from Dooskey Whiskey and Mark Reilly from Aphix Software, both based in Drogheda are representing the region in the Best Idea and Best Business Start Up categories at the national final in Dublin this December, and have already won €30,000 in investment from the Local Enterprise Office Louth.

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition is an integral part of the Action Plan for Jobs and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country.

At the IBYE Regional Final, three local business owners and new start-ups from Louth all under the age of 30, went head-to-head with other county winners from Meath, Monaghan and Cavan.

The nominees were all interviewed by a three member judging panel and had to deliver a business pitch, live. Assessed on criteria such as business innovation, job creation potential and financial planning, the announcement of the national finalists was made at a reception in Cabra Castle in Kingscourt County Cavan with special guests Ministers Ged Nash and Damien English. Other guests at the Regional Final included Chair of Louth County Council Peter Savage and his counterparts in the other counties.

Congratulating the finalists, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. said: “Central to our plans for jobs and growth is supporting more businesses to start-up. 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 competition to find the best young entrepreneur in each region, and ultimately Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. I am delighted to congratulate all involved.”
IBYE 2015
The local winners now face tough competition from 22 other finalists, emerging from eight regional finals. The €100,000 investment fund in December is divided up across four prizes:
-    Best New Idea (€20,000 investment)
-    Best Start Up (€30,000 investment)
-    Best Established Business (€30,000 investment)
-    Overall Winner of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ (an additional €20,000 investment)

More than 400 business owners and start-ups from around the country have already benefitted from intensive business bootcamps and mentoring programmes through the network of Local Enterprise Offices, as part of the competition.

Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office Louth, Thomas McEvoy said: “We are proud and honoured that Louth will have two excellent representatives in the national finals next month. The competition is now down to the final 24 entrepreneurs. Louth embraced the competition very positively with the 4th highest number of entrants nationally. In total over 1,000 young entrepreneurs entered from every county in Ireland, with tough competition across each category. There’s a strong chance that ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ will be from Louth and go on to win additional investment of €50,000 for their business. We’d also like to congratulate all our other nominees and entrants, especially our overall county winner Keith Agnew from MVI Cleaning Dundalk who ‘flew the flag’ for us at the county and regional finals. The Local Enterprise Office looks forward to supporting their businesses into the future.”

The three young entrepreneurs representing the county at the Regional Final were:
•    Best Idea- Andrew Nadin, Dooskey Whiskey
•    Best Business Start Up- Mark Reilly, Aphix Software
•    Best Established Business- Keith Agnew, MVI Cleaning

News, results and updates for ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, is available through www.ibye.ie, www.localenterprise.ie and by searching #IBYE on social media.

IBYE Louth Winners