From affordable diagnostics to authentic tortilla chips, 24 young entrepreneurs from all over the country are at the Department of Jobs in Dublin today, to compete for the title of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ (IBYE) for 2015.
The judging panel are individually interviewing all 24 national finalists over the course of today, ahead of the National Final at The Foundry in Google on Sunday 6th December.
1,400 young Irish entrepreneurs, aged between 18 and 30, participated in this year’s €2million IBYE competition, part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2015, which is being run by the Local Enterprise Offices. The 24 finalists from 17 counties have now made it to the national final at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin, for a chance to win an investment of up to €70,000 in their business.
Welcoming the finalists to the Department of Jobs on Kildare Street this morning, Minister Bruton said: “Two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups, and that is why we are putting in place a range of measures, including the IBYE competition, to support, encourage and celebrate the young people who start those businesses that we need. I’ve met with all the finalists competing in this year’s IBYE competition to hear about their job creation plans for the future and I’m hugely encouraged by the quality of their businesses and their ambitious plans.
This year’s ‘Best Business Ideas’ include affordable diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases, a new Irish whiskey brand, mobile apps for e-Books and CAD drawings and medical devices for bowel cancer patients. In addition, technology for patients with diabetes, software for taxi drivers and an online polling tool for bloggers are also among the finalists in that category
For start-ups that are less than two years old, the next category includes a wearable fertility tracker for women, technology to convert waste tyres into fuel, healthy convenient foods and beverages and mobile apps for marketing teams. Software for the warehousing industry, a tortilla chip manufacturer and an equestrian data analytics company are also in the final eight of the ‘Best Start-Up Business’ category.
The eight finalists in the ‘Best Established Business’ category feature a fashion milliner, a retail entertainment company, a recycling specialist, a sprayer supplier and a furniture-maker. This third category, for businesses that are at least two years old, also includes a speciality seafood retailer, a product research company and a healthy snack food maker.
Two successful entrepreneurs, Brian Crowley of the TTM Group and Sarah Doyle of Kinesense Ltd, are on this year’s IBYE judging panel, along with Colin Goulding of Google Ireland, Christine Charlton of the Local Enterprise Offices and Tom Hayes of Enterprise Ireland.
Speaking on behalf of the Local Enterprise Offices, Sheelagh Daly highlighted the supports on offer to those young entrepreneurs taking part, saying: “Through the course of this year’s IBYE competition, 450 young entrepreneurs have already participated in business bootcamps, 92 local winners have won ‘game changing’ investments of between €10,000 and €20,000 for their businesses and hundreds more have been offered training and mentoring opportunities.”
Further updates about ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ and YouTube videos for each of the national finalists are available here: http://www.ibye.ie/national-finals-2/