Waterford Winners heading for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur National Final

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

Liam Sexton from Photo2CAD, based in Waterford City and Eddy Lynch from Suir Sprayers, based in Passage East are representing the Waterford and Cork region in the Best Idea and Best Established Business categories at the national final in The Foundry at Google HQ in Barrow Street, Dublin this December. They have already won a combined € 30,000 in investment and € 18,000 in assistances from the Local Enterprise Office Waterford.

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 Waterford business owners and new start-ups, all under the age of 30, went head-to-head with other county winners from three Local Enterprise Offices in Cork City and County. The 12 regional finalists emerged from over two hundred and fifty applicants.

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 Corrib Hall in the Cork Marts, Fermoy, County Cork with special guest Minister Seán Sherlock.

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.”

The Waterford winners now face tough competition from 22 other finalists, emerging from eight regional finals throughout Ireland. 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 500 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.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Councillor John Cummins congratulated the two exceptional young entrepreneurs and the Local Enterprise Office in Waterford saying: “We are proud and honoured to have two representatives out of twenty four enterprises at the national final in December, as over 1,000 young entrepreneurs entered from every county in Ireland, with tough competition across each category. Our finalists now have a chance of being crowned ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ and to win additional investment of up to €70,000 for their business. We’d also like to congratulate all our other nominees and entrants, who ‘flew the flag’ for us at the county and regional finals and I would encourage our Local Enterprise Office to support their businesses to grow into the future.”

The three young entrepreneurs representing the county at the Regional Final were:

  • Eddy Lynch of Suir Sprayers – Winner Regional Final, Best Existing Business
  • Michael Treyvaud of Treybro Ltd – Runner up Regional Final, Best Start Up
  • Liam Sexon oif Photo2CAD – Winner Regional Final, Best Business Idea

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.