Westmeath County’s Young Entrepreneurs to compete at Regional Final on February 1st

Westmeath County’s Young Entrepreneurs to compete at Regional Final on February 1st

180 young entrepreneurs across every county in Ireland awarded a total of €1.5 million in investment funding through IBYE competition

Three young entrepreneurs from Westmeath are going head-to-head with entrepreneurs from Laois, Kildare & Offaly at the Regional Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition, which takes place on February 1st at the Heritage Hotel in Portlaoise.

Local Enterprise Office Westmeath will be represented at this year’s Regional Final by:

Best Established Business Enda Geoghegan

  • Enda Geoghegan, age30 of Lift Hire Ireland, Mullingar (Best Established Business Category).

Best Start Up Business James Sherlock

  • James Sherlock, age 34 of Smart Business Analytics, Athlone (Best Start-Up Business Category).

Best Business Idea -Ciaran Walsh          

  • Ciaran Walsh age age 23 of Health-Fix Medical, Rathowen (Best Business Idea Category).

On February 1st in County Laois, three finalists will be selected by the judging panel to compete at the IBYE National Final in March, one from each competition category.

So far, 180 talented entrepreneurs across every county in Ireland, aged between 18 and 35, have been awarded a total of €1.5 million in investment funding through the Local Enterprise Offices, after winning or becoming runners-up in IBYE County Finals.

This initiative for young entrepreneurs is run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) nationwide, and supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland. The investment awards will be used by the young entrepreneurs to help fund business start-ups, create new jobs locally or to help develop new products for international markets.

As part of the supports on offer through the competition, more than 400 young entrepreneurs around the country benefited from boot-camp training sessions in which they were put through their paces in every aspect of how to start and develop a business.

Announcing details for the Regional Finals, The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D, said:

 “This competition highlights that Ireland’s entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.  Our young entrepreneurs are the employers of the future, and are the backbone of the Irish economy. This investment will help all their businesses to grow and flourish and in turn will create and support more jobs throughout every region. I look forward to meeting more of our incredible entrepreneurial talent from around the country at the next stage of the competition.”

The IBYE Regional Finals will take place in:

  1. Waterford on January 19th (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Waterford, LEO Cork City, LEO Cork North & West and LEO South Cork).
  2. Clare on January 23rd (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Clare, LEO Kerry, LEO Limerick and LEO Tipperary).
  3. Meath on January 24th (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Meath, LEO Cavan, LEO Louth and LEO Monaghan).
  4. Dublin on January 25th (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Fingal, LEO Dublin City, LEO Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and LEO South Dublin).
  5. Sligo on January 26th (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Sligo, LEO Donegal, LEO Leitrim and LEO Longford).
  6. Roscommon on January 27th (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Roscommon, LEO Galway and LEO Mayo).
  7. Wexford on January 31st (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Wexford, LEO Carlow, LEO Kilkenny and LEO Wicklow).
  8. Laois on February 1st (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Laois, LEO Kildare, LEO Offaly and LEO Westmeath)

The competition attracted a record number of entries, with 1,842 applying in total and 208 applying from the region. Christine Charlton, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Westmeath, wished local category winners the best of luck at the Regional Final, saying:

“We see the IBYE initiative as an important springboard for our young entrepreneurs who want to start or expand a business. The 180 entrepreneurs across every county in Ireland who share €1.5 million in investment funding, which include our County Winners and Runners-up, can now make their business ideas and expansion plans a reality in 2017. It’s also about nurturing entrepreneurs through bootcamps, training, networking and mentoring, with job creation benefits throughout the region.”

On February 1st, the young entrepreneurs are hoping to follow in the footsteps of the three 2015 National Finalists from the region:  Conor Devlin of UHerrd from Kildare in the Best Business Idea category, David Carey of Nutraplenish in Kildare in the Best Start-Up Business category and Tim Dunleavy of Dunleavy Bespoke in Kildare in the Best Established Business category.

The region has also enjoyed success at national level, as Dean Gammell from The Group System in Westmeath clinched the ‘Best Established Business’ category at the National Finals in 2014.

More details about the competition and the supports available to young entrepreneurs are available through www.localenterprise.ie and from the IBYE website at www.ibye.ie.

ENDS

For media queries, please contact your Local Enterprise Office.

Notes to Editor:

About IBYE:     www.ibye.ie

 

IBYE Regional Finals: Venues

For the details of all the Regional Finalists, please visit www.ibye.ie. Three National Finalists will be selected at each Regional Final, one for each of the three competition categories.

Waterford, January 19th (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Waterford, LEO Cork City, LEO Cork North & West and LEO South Cork). Venue: Crew’s Restaurant, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford (evening event).

Clare, January 23rd (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Clare, LEO Kerry, LEO Limerick and LEO Tipperary). Venue: Bunratty Castle Hotel, Bunratty, Co. Clare (evening event).

Meath, January 24th (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Meath, LEO Cavan, LEO Louth and LEO Monaghan). Venue: Clonabreany House, Kells, Co. Meath (evening event)

Dublin, January 25th (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Fingal, LEO Dublin City, LEO Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and LEO South Dublin). Venue: The Westbury Hotel, Balfe Street, Dublin 2 (evening event).

Sligo, January 26th (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Sligo, LEO Donegal, LEO Leitrim and LEO Longford). Venue: Radisson Hotel Sligo, Rosses Point, Co. Sligo (evening event).

Roscommon, January 27th (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Roscommon, LEO Galway and LEO Mayo). Venue: Abbey Hotel, Galway Road, Roscommon (lunch-time event)

Wexford, January 31st (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Wexford, LEO Carlow, LEO Kilkenny and LEO Wicklow). Venue: The Street, Wexford County Council Offices, Wexford (evening event).

Laois, February 1st (with young entrepreneurs representing LEO Laois, LEO Kildare, LEO Offaly and LEO Westmeath). Venue: Heritage Hotel Portlaoise, Co. Laois (afternoon event)

 

  • Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) is an enterprise initiative run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices 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.
  • During the application phase (closing date of October 14th 2016), the competition was open to those aged between 18 and 35 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.
  • A record 1,842 young entrepreneurs submitted entries to the current competition, a 32% increase on the previous year.
  • The three categories and county prize funds 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)

  • At the County Final stage, winners and runners-up are awarded investment funds and category winners are now invited to represent their area at one of eight Regional Finals in January and February 2017.
  • Three national finalists, one for every category, will be selected to represent that Region at the National Final in March 2017.
  •  A total of 24 national finalists will compete to become “Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur”, with a €100,000 investment fund to be awarded between five winners.
 

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