IBYE County Winners Announced at Final on May 2nd

Local Enterprise Office announces Westmeath’s Best Young Entrepreneurs and €50,000 investment fund winners

 6 winners IBYE

Three winners and three runners-up win a share of the €50k Investment Fund 


Westmeath’s “Best Young Entrepreneurs” for 2019 and €50,000 investment fund winners were announced at an awards ceremony hosted by Local Enterprise Office Westmeath on Thursday May 2nd 2019 in Dead Centre Brewing in Athlone.


As part of a nationwide search launched by Minister Heather Humphreys and Minister Pat Breen to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs (IBYE) for 2019, the six winners and runners-up were chosen from 15 local finalists and will now share a €50,000 investment fund.


IBYE, now in its fifth year, is a nationwide youth enterprise initiative to help 18-to-35 year olds with an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business. In 2019, 1,644 young entrepreneurs entered IBYE, which is an initiative of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and supported by Enterprise Ireland and local authorities.


The county final was hosted by Local Enterprise Offiice Westmeath and Cathaoirleach Cllr. John Dolan was also in attendance to present the awards. Among the special guests at the awards ceremony were Chief Executive Pat Gallagher and last years Best Business Idea Winner Liam Tutty of Dead Centre Brewing, who delivered the key note address.


The ‘Best New Idea’ category, with a €7,000 investment fund, was won by David Quirke, aged 34 founder of Wholesome Kitchen Ltd in Mullingar, which is a food company with a mission to make healthy food more accessible. The runner-up award and €3,000 investment fund went to Conor Nugent age 30 of uScooot Ltd in Mullingar.


The winner of the ‘Best Start-Up Business’ category and the €15,000 investment fund was Mark Gaye aged 25 and founder of Paradigm Education and Products in Athlone.  Paradigm education is an online learning platform directly aimed at the barbering community globally. The runner-up in this category, collecting a €5,000 investment fund, was Marc Murray aged 24 of Upfront Digital in Mullingar.


Meanwhile, the title of ‘Best Established Business’, with an investment fund of €15,000, went to Shauna Coyne aged 31, Chief Operations Officer of Skyclad Ltd.  SkyClad design and manufacture light gauge steel and have introduced many new building options to save customers time and money when building new structures. The runner-up in this category, scooping a €5,000 investment fund, was Enda Geoghegan, aged 32, of Power Washing Ireland in Mullingar.


Shauna Coyne was also awarded the title of ‘Best Young Entrepreneur’ for Westmeath.


In the lead-up to the county final, each finalist received targeted business supports through Local Enterprise Office Westmeath.They attended an intensive Business Boot Camp, receiving mentoring and support on their business plans, pitch training as well as getting the opportunity to connect with other young entrepreneurs from Westmeath.



Christine Charlton, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Westmeath.said: “As our winners clearly demonstrate, youth entrepreneurship is thriving here in Westmeath.IBYE is about discovering local potential and nurturing that talent through financial supports, mentoring, training and networking opportunities.  In 2018, Local Enterprise Office Westmeath. supported 6 young entrepreneurs through the IBYE competition and over 15 young entrepreneurs in total, since the competition began in 2014. We want to build on that success by supportting Westmeath’s young entrepreneurs today and into the future.”



The county winners from Westmeath will now progress to the regional finals, which take place on June 12th in Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar.  In all, 24 national finalists will be selected at regional finals across the country to compete for the overall title of “Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.”


At the IBYE national final on Sunday 15th September, which takes place at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin, a €100,000 investment fund will be awarded to winners.