Inside Ireland’s Best Entrepreneur Competition 2019 – With Daniel Connolly, Winner in the Best Idea Category 2019

Inside Ireland’s Best Entrepreneur Competition 2019 – With Daniel Connolly, Winner in the Best Idea Category 2019

 Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Competition, better known as IBYE, is a national competition that is run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices. Now in its fifth year, the competition boasts a massive 2 million euro investment fund for winners and runner ups across three business categories, Best Business Idea, Best Start-Up and Best Established Business.Dan

This year’s county final for team Waterford was held Friday, April 26th in a lavish event at Dooley's hotel in the city. There were a total of 18 Waterford young entrepreneurs in attendance, with friends and family turning out in force to support the young business owners and their diverse range of businesses - from Ice-Cream makers to AI driven recruitment systems, all across the three business categories.

The glitzy events were hosted by WLR’s Damien Tiernan, along with Jacqui Gaule (LEO Senior Enterprise Development Officer) announcing the winners and runners up for the evening. But the night festivities is only the conclusion of several weeks of hard work from the eighteen young entrepreneurs which included a business boot camp retreat, private business mentoring and dragons den style presentations in front of multiple local business personalities.

Daniel Connolly (Defynd) scoped first prize in the Best Idea Category with his innovative idea that allows students to easily access academic definitions. Daniel describes his expectations and experiences entering the competition.

“I suppose when I came into the competition I did not expect to do as well as I did, I think the first day in the Viking Hotel (IBYE Enterprise Morning) was a really good event as it broke the ice between all of the candidates and gave everyone their first chance at pitching the ideas they had.”

When asked about his experience during the Business boot-camp he replied: “The boot-camp was really beneficial; it was probably the best workshop I have been to for the development of both pitching and the business plan.”

“After the boot-camp weekend, I had nearly my entire pitch developed and was confident that I would be able to deliver it to the judges as well. Then also the weekend was really good for actually talking to everyone else, learning from them and finding out their ideas, their businesses and their plans for the future.”

“I was surprised by how good the boot-camp was, how much I learned from it and how much work I got done on my pitch over that weekend. If I was advising anyone about the competition, I would firstly say enter it, because you have nothing to lose by not entering it, it could be something greatly beneficial to you, you don't know. I would also say if you make it to the boot-camp stage have your idea refined, I guess to be able to best represent yourself and your idea to judges.”

– Daniel Connolly.