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Tipperary’s Best Young Entrepreneurs Announced

Tipperary’s Best Young Entrepreneurs Announced    22 December 2016

 €50,000 investment fund presented by Local Enterprise Office Tipperary to six young entrepreneurs in the county, all aged between 18 and 35.

Tipperary’s best young entrepreneurs have been announced at the County Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition, which took place in the Peppermill, Nenagh on Thursday last December 15.

IBYE, which has a €2 million investment fund, is run by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland.


The overall “best young entrepreneur” for the county was named by Local Enterprise Office Tipperary as Jennifer Nickerson from Tipperary Boutique Distillery Ltd in Cahir. Jennifer also won the category for Best Start up and an investment fund from LEO Tipperary worth €15,000.


The other main category winners on the evening were Andy Spillane, T/a Savvy Kitchens, Thurles in the Best Established Business and Paddy Moynihan, Unibooks from Loughmore in the Best New Idea category. The top prize in the Best Established Business category was € 15,000, with a top prize of €7,000 for the Best New Idea category. All three category winners will now be representing Tipperary at Mid West IBYE Regional Finals, taking place in Ennis in early 2017.


Meanwhile, the three category runners-up between them shared an investment of €13,000 for their respective businesses. The runners up were: Enda Maher, Capital Transport and Shipping Ltd, Roscrea in the Best Established Business category; Evie Ward, Nutshed Ltd, Nenagh in the Best Start up category and finally, Marian Kennedy, PPR Brand, Clonmel in the Best New Idea category.

 In her address at the awards ceremony, Rita Guinan, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Tipperary said: “We started the search to find Ireland’s best young entrepreneur in August and the competition received a record-breaking number of entries this year, with 1,800 young entrepreneurs applying nationally and 47 locally. After a very successful IBYE bootcamp and County Final, the future is looking bright for both youth entrepreneurship and job creation in the County.”

Special guests at the IBYE County Final included: Cllr Mattie Ryan, Tipperary County Council who represented Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council Cllr Siobhan Ambrose, Tipperary County Council, Chief Executive, Joe MacGrath, Sinead Carr, Director of Community and Economic Development, Tipperary County Council and Sinead O’Dwyer, Pressure Welding Manufacturing Ltd, Thurles who was the 2015 Tipperary Best Young Entrepreneur.


The vital role of the judging panel was also acknowledged at the awards ceremony and this year’s judges included: Vincent Reynolds retired Head of Enterprise, Cavan County Council, Mary Fogarty, Retail & Business Manager AIB Tipperary and Michael Hanley, retired Head of Enterprise, Cork North and West. The Regional Finals for IBYE are taking place in January and February 2017, to select 24 national finalists across the three competition categories.

Further details on the competition and supports available to young entrepreneurs are available through and from the IBYE website at


For media queries, please contact your Local Enterprise Office.

Notes to Editor:

About IBYE:

  • Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is an      enterprise initiative run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) around      the country and funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland. A €2 million      investment fund is available through IBYE which supports young      entrepreneurs through training, mentoring and direct financial investments.
  • Now in its third year, IBYE was open      to people between the ages of 18 (at date of application) and 35 (at      31st December 2016) with an innovative business idea, new start-up or      established business, including: individuals, venture teams, partnerships,      existing businesses with a new idea, or people overseas (including      Irish emigrants) who will headquarter in Ireland.
  • Each LEO has a total fund of up to €50,000 to      invest in six businesses (three category winners and three runners-up)      according to criteria including businesses’ investment needs. The three      categories are as follows:

- Best Business Idea(pre-trading) – up to €10,000 investment fund through every LEO (€7,000 for category winner and €3,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)                                                              - Best Start-Up Business(up to 36 months), with up to €20,000 investment fund through every LEO (€15,000 for category winner and €5,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)                                     - Best Established Business(over 36 months) with up to €20,000 investment fund through every LEO (€15,000 for category winner and €5,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)

  • The county winners will now proceed to eight      regional finals in January and February 2017 from which 24 contenders      (three from each region – one in each category) will be selected to      compete for the national title of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.
  • A further €100,000 investment fund will be      available to invest in the winners of the three categories at the national      final, one of which will also be named as “Ireland’s Best Young      Entrepreneur.


Tipperary Competitor Profiles:

Best New Idea – Not yet established

Paddy Moynihan from Loughmore is a graduate of mechanical engineering in NUIG and his business is Unibooks. Unibooks is an online portal created to facilitate 3rd level students to buy, rent and sell academic literature to and from one another. There are currently over 250,000 students enrolled in third level education in Ireland, and Unibooks, is the only service in the country which is specifically designed to allow students to trade their academic literature with each other. Unibooks is a membership based, online store style service where members can search for, request, sell, buy and organise trades of academic literature.

Marian Kennedy is from Clonmel and has a background in accounting. She has worked with the HSE in various hospital environments. After having her first child in 2015 Marian was inspired to think of her new product idea and is now in the process of creating the PPR brand, (Post-Partum Relief). The new product which she is creating is called the PPR Pad which will be used for efficiently soothing and healing a woman’s perineal area after giving birth naturally.

James Harney is a 19 year old entrepreneur from Clonmel currently studying Business Information Systems in University College Cork. His business idea is entitled Shiftiton which is an online platform that allows third level students to buy & sell within their respective college campus for free. James always had a keen interest in enterprise from a very young age, opening his first business in 2012 at the age of 15. With Shiftiton, Irish college students can trade in a student exclusive space. Books, plates or paddling pools, all you need to get started is an email address with an approved Irish college.

Ciaran O’Brien has a background in biological science, IT, and East Asian business. He has worked in Japan and speaks Japanese. Having spent a number of years promoting East Asia as a business destination in Ireland (and vice-versa) and performing Japanese-English translation work on a freelance basis as well as building a strong professional network between Ireland and East Asia, he is looking to launch a new business, Kanzen Asia Consultancy Ltd. Currently pre-trading, the company was incorporated to facilitate and promote the growing trade between Ireland and East Asia.

Liam Rose is from Templemore and his business is called Rustic Rose. His mission is to take unloved, unwanted waste lumber that is destined to be incinerated or banished to an already overflowing landfill and re-ignite its true splendour. He plans to create be-spoke, eco-friendly furnishings, giftware and signage for sale into both domestic and international markets. From outdoor garden sets made from cable drums to stunning signage for all occasions beautifully crafted from disused wooden pallets, all pieces carry with them, the love and passion put into creating them with forward thinking and environmental vision.

Cian Farrell from Cahir is in his final year in UCD. With his friend Neville Flynn, he has developed Hyred. The concept was initially formed after they experienced first-hand the difficulty of finding a part-time job in a new city. Hyred aims to streamline the recruitment process by providing employers and jobseekers with an online platform and App for casual and hourly work. The platform provides an innovative and better way to hire staff.



Best Start up Business ( trading less than 18 months)

Evie Ward is from Nenagh and her business is the Nutshed. This business specialises in creating delicious, nourishing treats for the body & soul.
Her ethos is to eat conscientiously and she is wholly committed to a life of decadent, virtuous treats without gluten, dairy or refined sugar.NutShed was created after years working on the festival circuit with her sister Eliza. To sustain themselves they used high energy, slow releasing, nutritious treats to get them through the busy days on the road around the country. Made from nuts, seeds and super foods which are exclusively imported, you can now find her tasty treats in some of the busiest cafes around Limerick and Dublin. The aim is to provide our ‘free from’ treats nationwide so everyone can indulge in her guilt free, decadent creations.

Jennifer Nickerson is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a MA Hons in Business and Accounting. After graduation she worked for several years with KPMG in Ireland where she advised companies on domestic and international tax matters. With two others she has started Tipperary Boutique Distillery a new but growing entrant into the Irish whiskey market. This business has recently received planning permission to establish a distillery on Ballindoney farm in Cahir. The long-term aim of this business is to produce an Irish whiskey exclusively from Tipperary barley and Tipperary water, distilled and matured in Tipperary.

Joel Carey graduated from UCC with a Masters in Business in 2015. Having worked in the area of on-line sales, web development and event management, he identified a niche in the market for supporting potential musicians and bands to obtain funding to create albums or CD’s through a specific crowd funding website. In March 2016, he founded Crowdsound, a website to facilitate fledgling artists and musicians raise finance to record an album without having to be signed by a record label or lose their creative freedom. They can choose from an Album, EP, Single or a special musical project. Musicians’ sign up to the website and place clips of their music, biographies etc on their page and then proceed to spread this information to their fans, friends and family in order to raise the required capital.

Geraldine Byrne is a skincare expert with 13 years national and international experience. Her passion lies with results based treatments and products and she believes in treating the body and the skin from the inside out. She owns an award winning Skin/ Laser/ Wellbeing clinic MEDISKIN which is based in Nenagh. Her personal awards range from 5 star client experience awards to winning the 2015 Emerging Business Category at the Network North Tipperary Business Woman of the Year Awards and receiving the “highly commended” accolade at the National Final that year. In 2016, she won the Established Business Category at these awards and is also an award winning blogger with over 5,000 followers.

Kieran Keane originates from Borrisoleigh and has worked in the kitchen industry since 1998. From humble beginnings in the shed of his parent’s home in Borrisoleigh, he started his business and now operates from a modern spacious showroom in Thurles. His business Tipperary Kitchens currently employs 6 people and manufactures a range of bespoke kitchens and bedroom furniture to customers in Tipperary. All of the units are manufactured specifically for individual clients to ensure that they can be crafted to fit into any space.



Best Established Business (trading more than 18 months)

PJ Moloney is Managing Director of EireChrom a business that has grown rapidly to become an Irish market leader in the highly specialised area of mass spectrometry. This is an advanced separations science technique that has both quantitative and qualitative uses within the chemical analysis and life science sectors. The Company are trusted partners to some of Ireland’s largest public and private sector organisations and are recognised as having best-in-class anti-bribery and corruption policies. EireChrom strives for excellence and recently received the Small Firms Association, Outstanding Small Business in Ireland Award, 2016.

Enda Maher from Roscrea is the Managing Director of Capital Transport and Shipping Ltd. This business was established in 2011 and since then it has grown to be a major logistics service provider to the Irish food industry. Capital Transport and Shipping Ltd offer Irish, UK and European food companies a full logistical solution which includes transport, warehousing and distribution. In addition the company has also established a sister company in Paris called Capital Logistique France where it operates a 50,000 square foot multi temperature warehouse from which it can service the food sector in Paris and the rest of France. It is the only Irish company in France operating a multi temperature warehouse.

Andy Spillane established his business T/a Savvy Kitchens in 2007. His Company based in Thurles designs, manufactures and installs bespoke fitted furniture for both the private and commercial sectors. In-house manufacturing of in-frame doors gives Savvy a unique advantage over competitors as it allows more flexibility with sizes and reduced lead times. Savvy Kitchens has in place a specialised in house team which includes Designers, CNC operators, Cabinet makers and Fitters who work to exacting standards to produce unique furniture solutions for the high end consumer market. The Promoter has appeared on the RTE Series “Room to Improve” on a several occasions and has completed a number of high profile contracts in Cardiff, Belfast, London and other export markets.