South Dublin Company Wins National Enterprise Award

South Dublin Company Wins National Enterprise Award

Taoiseach presents National Enterprise Awards with Minister Mitchell O’ Connor and Minister Breen to Clondalkin-based company

Acutrace, an energy tech company, supported by Local Enterprise Office South Dublin, wins overall National Enterprise Awards at gala event in Dublin’s Mansion House

South Dublin Company Wins National Enterprise Award

Winners John Lynch & Aidan McDonnell with Colm Ward, head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office South Dublin.

A start-up energy technology company from South Dublin has won the top award at this year’s National Enterprise Awards (on May 25th), which is organised by the Local Enterprise Offices every year to celebrate Ireland’s micro-enterprises.

Set-up in 2015 and supported by Local Enterprise Office South Dublin, Acutrace has developed hardware and software that collects energy data in commercial buildings in the UK and Ireland. The company founders, Aidan McDonnell and John Lynch, were presented with the National Enterprise Award by An Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny T.D., the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. and the Minister of State for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen T.D. at a black-tie ceremony in the Mansion House.

Representatives of Local Enterprise Office South Dublin and South Dublin County Council, including Head of Enterprise Colm Ward and Mayor Guss O’Connell were also at the event.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Colm Ward, head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office South Dublin said: “Aidan and John started Acutrace just two years ago and already the company is making its mark on the international energy management sector, having worked on more than 50 projects for companies like Google, Twitter and IBM. Micro-enterprises in South Dublin like Acutrace, which make up more than 90% of all businesses in Ireland, are powering the national and local economy with the Local Enterprise Office South Dublin as their ‘first-stop-shop’ for accessing enterprise supports. I’d like to pay tribute to Aidan, John and their team at Acutrace and their National Enterprise Award is celebration of their courage, vision and success.

Another Dublin company, Hope Beer in Fingal, won the ‘Best Start-Up’ award, Hexafly in Meath took the award for ‘Innovation’ and Monaghan Brothers Bar Furniture Manufacturers Ltd from County Mayo won the ‘Best Export’ category.

The Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny T.D. speaking at the Awards said: “Congratulations to all the micro-enterprises and small businesses that are being honoured and celebrated through the National Enterprise Awards this year. The winners here tonight are examples of the confidence, ambition and creative talent at Ireland’s core.

He added: “Local Enterprise Offices exist to help small Irish companies starting out. Since the LEOs were established in 2014, they have supported in excess of 11,000 new jobs. We will continue to deliver on that potential, continue to unearth the new generation of entrepreneurs and continue to promote a culture of self-help and self-start, across every county, parish and community in Ireland. Unemployment has dropped from 15.4% to 6.4% in recent times and LEO offices have played their part in this. Jobs are now growing in every region in the country.

Minister Mitchell O’ Connor said: “I am delighted to join An Taoiseach, Minister Breen and the Local Enterprise Offices to celebrate the outstanding entrepreneurial achievements of Ireland’s micro and small businesses at the National Enterprise Awards. My priority as Minister is to ensure that an environment exists that nurtures entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation in every part of Ireland. The Local Enterprise Offices are a key element of that supportive environment and I would like to pay tribute to their vision and hard work.

Heartiest congratulations to all of the winners tonight, and to all of the participants in this year’s competition who are an inspiration to others to consider entrepreneurship as a career”.

Minister Breen said: “National Enterprise Awards showcase Ireland’s most innovative micro-enterprises and small businesses, putting their stories of success into the national spotlight. As Minister for Small Business, I want to do everything I can to help nurture Ireland’s entrepreneurial potential and to help more people start-up and grow their own business across every region. I would like to join An Taoiseach and Minister Mitchell O’ Connor in adding my gratitude and congratulations to all of this year’s participants, finalists and winners, who are representing the 31 Local Enterprise Offices here in the Mansion House.

Eight regional awards were also presented at the ceremony this evening and the winners were:

  • Acutrace in South Dublin (for the Dublin Region)
  • Irish Host Family Ltd in Kerry (for the South West Region)
  • Broghies Ireland in Kildare (for the Mid East Region)
  • Pip and Pear Chilled Baby Food in Waterford (for the South Region)
  • in Wicklow (for the South East Region)
  • Studyclix in Sligo (for the North West Region)
  • Aphix Software Ltd in Louth (for the North East Region)
  • 9th Impact in Galway City (for the West Region)

Sheelagh Daly, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices and Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the National Enterprise Awards’ organising committee, also spoke at the ceremony.

All of the award winners share a €40,000 prize fund from the Local Enterprise Offices, to help fund expansion and further growth.

The judges this year were Michael Hanley (former Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West), Barry Egan (Regional Director with Enterprise Ireland) and Anne Cusack (entrepreneur and founder of Critical Healthcare in Westmeath, a medical emergency product supplier).

Previous winners of the National Enterprise Awards have included Applied Concepts in Offaly, Agrispread in Mayo, Innovate in Wexford and Irish Yoghurts in West Cork.

The full list of results and details about the supports available to micro-enterprises and start-ups through the network of Local Enterprise Offices can be found at