15 rising Irish business stars

Young, inventive and with a desire to influence the world, here are 15 Irish business stars to watch in the coming years.

Jaclk McGarry

Jack McGarry

Jack McGarry is the co-founder, operating partner and cocktail shaker extraordinaire at The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog Tavern in the financial district of Manhattan. In July 2013, he received the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail International Bartender of the Year award. He is its youngest ever recipient (he’s 25). And for the second year running, The Dead Rabbit was named America’s best bar on the prestigious World’s 50 Best Bars list. Cheers to you sir.



The Collison Brothers

No list of ‘Top young Irish entrepreneurs’ would be right without the inclusion of the Collison Brothers, Patrick and John. What can one say about the Limerick natives? Young Scientist winners. Coders. Inventors. True disruptors. World changers. Billionaires. What more do you want? Oh, and Patrick is a Fallibilist.


grainne baron

Grainne Barron

A Wicklow native, Barron is the owner of Viddyad, a platform that allows companies create video ads for use online. With an MBA from Smurfit Business School, Barron also studied business and law at Fordham University in New York.


jane n dhuchaliagh

Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh

Having raised €5 million on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube for her invention, Sugru, not only is Ní Dhulchaointigh an inventor, maker and creator, she is also a top business woman to watch. Her company is now worth €38 million and Ní Dhulchaointigh still owns an 87% stake in it, assuming all 2,700 investor bids are made true.


chris kennedy

Chris Kennedy

A co-founder of Trustev along with CEO Pat Phelan, Kennedy is a coder and a man with a renowned sense of humour. Trustev uses social data to help online retailers make sure they are selling to a real person. It makes online selling for retailers much safer. A very powerful idea, because it has unlimited global reach.



James Whelton

The youngest person on this list, Whelton is a co-founder of the dazzling not-for-profit CoderDojo. Thanks to James, children from all over Ireland, and soon the world, will learn how to code in a fun and creative way. Not satisfied with changing global education for the better, Whelton also owns the social media startup Disruptive Developments and is ‘hacker-in-residence’ at the billion dollar American private equity firm, Resolute Venture Capital. Oh, and he was also the first person to hack the iPod Nano … for his CV like.



Cristina Luminea

Cristina Luminea is the owner of ThoughtBox, a firm that helps children treat maths and science as a game. The aim is to encourage them to become better at maths and have an appetite to continue studying STEM subjects (imperative for all future economies). Luminea’s award-winning iPad app is called Numerosity.


young irish business stars danielle ryan

Danielle Ryan

If your granddad is Tony Ryan (of RyanAir), you probably have a good chance of inheriting an entrepreneurial gene or two. Ryan’s company Roads Group is a diversified group that includes publishing and luxury scents as part of its portfolio. Very stylish and luxurious.


Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien

Trinity College students Ward and O’Brien are Social Entrepreneurs. FoodCloud wants to help people who have very little, or no food by partnering with hotels, caterers, supermarkets, shops and restaurants that throw out a lot of good food. Ireland wastes one million tonnes of food every year while 600,000 people experience food poverty. FoodCloud wants to change this.



Patrick Leddy

You often hear the term ‘serial entrepreneur’ bandied about the place. Well, meet a real one. His first app development company Furious Tribe had clients such as Axa, Citibank, Vodafone, and RTÉ Sport. His next company TechForce recruited and managed teams of software developers. His current company, Pulsate, is involved in ‘mobile marketing for the physical world’. Leddy also works as a young global shaper for the World Economic Forum. 


jenny mcginn

Jennie McGinn

A fashion blogger to begin with, Jennie McGinn and her sisters Sarah and Grace launched the platform Prowlster. In brief, it was an “online lifestyle magazine you can shop”. A great idea for the digital age and one that led to the development and launch of McGinn’s next business, OPSH, a platform that allows women shop across their favourite fashion sites using one account and one checkout. Simple, yet smart.



Terry Cavanagh

This young Irish man makes games. Experimental games like At A Distance. He’s already a finalist for ‘Game of the Year’ on the App Store with his 2012 arcade-style release Super Hexagon. He is one to watch for the future. 


emer daly

Emer O’Daly

CEO of Love & Robots, O’Daly trained as an architect. With a Masters in Architecture from Yale University, she returned to Dublin with experience in design and digital manufacturing, including 3D printing. Love & Robots makes personalised products using 3D printing. Made with love, built by robots. And powered by design.


Main image – Danielle Ryan from roads.co.