Annie Madden, co-founder of FenuHealth, has won Enterprise Ireland’s 2022 Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
The University College Cork student was presented with the Award at a ceremony at Trinity College Dublin today, 10 June. FenuHealth, which is based in Co Meath, produces powdered supplements that are added to feed to help prevent and resolve stomach problems in horses and ponies.
The business was built on work done by sisters Annie and Kate Madden as transition year students taking part in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. FenuHealth offers a range of nine products and currently exports to 15 countries as well as counting five royal families among its customers.
“The competition provides these students with a platform to explore their innovative business ideas and the opportunity to turn these ideas into thriving businesses”
FenuHealth was one of ten finalists at the awards and the team received €10,000 as part of the Enterprise Ireland student prize. The Madden sisters will also receive mentoring from Enterprise Ireland to develop the commercial viability of their products.
41 years of recognising entrepreneurship
This is the 41st year of Enterprise Ireland’s Student Entrepreneur Awards, which are co-sponsored by Cruickshank, Grant Thornton and the Local Enterprise Offices. The awards are open to all third level institutions across the country.
The Cruickshank High Achieving Merit Award went to Claire Finnegan of Rollagen. Representing St. Angela’s College, Sligo, she received a prize of €5,000 for her sports recovery and injury prevention food product.
The Grant Thornton High Achieving Merit Award and €5,000 went to Recapture One, the cloud-based multimedia company specializing in the development of personalised bereavement memorials developed by South East Technological University student Alannah Pardy.
The Local Enterprise Office High Achieving Merit Award and €5,000 went to NutrixBix, by Goodness Oats, which has developed a range of artisnal, oat-based cookies designed specifically for nursing mothers. The company was founded by Rachel McDonnell of St. Angela’s College, Sligo.
Ronan McArt and Roisin Lydon, lecturers at St. Angela’s College, Sligo, won the Enterprise Ireland Academic Award.
Along with the prize money, the winners will also share in a €30,000 consultancy fund that will enable them to turn their ideas into a commercial reality.
“The Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards represent an important starting point for many as they embark on their entrepreneurial journey,” said Richard Murphy, manager of LEO Support, Policy and Co-ordination Unit at Enterprise Ireland.
“The competition provides these students with a platform to explore their innovative business ideas and the opportunity to turn these ideas into thriving businesses. Fostering the next generation of Irish entrepreneurs is a priority for us at Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise offices and it is great to be here on what is the 41st rendition of these awards. Congratulations to each student team and college that participated.”
“The calibre of the entries this year are a credit to the student entrepreneurs and their institutions,” added Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Robert Troy, TD.
“The projects presented today address a range of challenges facing Irish society from sustainability and the environment to health and wellness with innovative solutions to not only meet the needs of an Irish market but with potential global appeal also. Today’s Awards highlight a vibrant and thriving entrepreneurial spirit within Ireland’s universities and colleges across the country, and I look forward to following each of the entrants on their entrepreneurial journeys over the coming months and years.”
Main image: Minister Robert Troy with Richard Murphy from Enterprise Ireland and FenuHealth co-founder Annie Madden