Entrepreneurs make final pitches to judges

The 24 National Finalists pitched their business ideas to the judging panel recently as part of their effort to be named Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (#IBYE) at the national final on 7th December.

The judging panel individually interviewed all 24 national finalists over the course of the day (Wednesday, November 26th) at the Department for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, ahead of December’s first-ever national final.

Over 1,000 young entrepreneurs, aged between 18 and 30 and from every county in Ireland, applied for the first ever ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition, which is being run by the Local Enterprise Offices. 24 national finalists from 17 counties have been identified in advance of the national final at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin on 7th December.

Launched earlier this year by Minister Bruton and supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the nationwide competition forms part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2014, with a total €2million fund available to county winners and overall national winners, who each can win a total of up to €70,000 investment in their business.

Winners will be offered a place on the Google “Adopt a Startup” program 2015.

Speaking from Department buildings, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD said: “In Ireland we have great entrepreneurs – we just don’t have enough of them. Two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups, and that is why we are putting in place measures to support, encourage and celebrate the people who start those businesses that we need.

“Those involved in ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition are already setting up businesses, exporting internationally and creating jobs here at home. The high standard of innovation and entrepreneurship that exists in this country is remarkable and by encouraging more young people to set up a business, we are supporting and encouraging the job creators of 2015 and beyond.”

The judging panel included two entrepreneurs – Brian Crowley of the TTM Group and Sarah Doyle of Kinesense Ltd – as well as Mary Fitzpatrick of the Local Enterprise Offices and Tom Hayes of Enterprise Ireland. On the day of the national final, Colin Goulding of Google Ireland will join the panel as a fifth member, to judge the live pitches.

Minister Bruton was joined at the announcement by four finalists, who had already completed their judging session earlier in the morning. These were: Ellevyn Irwin of Click Clinic, supported by the Local Enterprise Office Donegal; Lukas Decker of Coindrum, supported by the Local Enterprise Office Dublin City; Rebecca Butler of Uisce Bia, supported by the Local Enterprise Office Westmeath and Mark O’ Reilly of Complete Receipt, supported by the Local Enterprise Office Cavan.

To find out more about the National Finalists, videos can be viewed on the IBYE Channel on YouTube (youtube.com/user/IBYEire) or by searching #ibye on social media.