IBYE County Winners announced
€45,000 investment fund presented by Wexford County Council Local Enterprise Office to five young entrepreneurs in the county, all aged between 18 and 35.
Wexford’s best young entrepreneurs have been announced at the County Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition, which took place in Wexford County Council Offices on Tuesday night 29th November.
The IBYE competition, now in its third year, has a €2 million investment fund and is run in each of 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs). It is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland.
Wexford’s “Best Young Entrepreneur” was named as Jack Harte, age 28, from Harte Outdoor Lighting New Ross. The young entrepreneur also won the category for Best Established Business and an investment fund from LEO Wexford worth €15,000
The other main category winners on the day were Mark Rowe, aged 32, of Dyno Med from Kilmore in the Best Business Idea category who was awarded a prize of €7000, and Ronan McGrath, aged 34, Elevation Construction Network from Enniscorthy, who won the Best Startup category and a prize of €15,000.
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.
Meanwhile, the category runners-up also shared an investment of €8,000 with Patrick Kinsella, aged 29, Numus from Wexford in the Best Business Idea category and Gilly Duggan, aged 33, Gilly and Rob from Gorey in the Best Start- Up category.
Tom Banville, Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office Wexford said: “We started the search to find Ireland’s best young entrepreneur in August and the competition received a record-breaking 64 entries this year with 1,800 young entrepreneurs applying nationally. After a very successful IBYE bootcamp and County Final, the future is bright for both youth entrepreneurship and job creation in the region.”
The vital role of the judging panel was also acknowledged at the awards ceremony and this year’s judges included: Karl Fitzpatrick, Chevron, John O’Connor, Enniscorthy Enterprise Centre and Helena Dempsey, Wexford Local Development.