Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2019

The awards ceremony for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur took place last week with 24 finalists competing in three separate categories as well as the top award.

Last Sunday, 24 talented entrepreneurs battled it out in front of 350 guests to be crowned Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE).

This year, more than 1,600 entrepreneurs applied to be the country’s leading young entrepreneur, which was shortened down to 186 local winners and runners-up, before moving on to eight regional finals across Ireland.

IBYE is a programme run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) with the support of the Department of Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland, celebrating Ireland’s best young entrepreneurial talent.

The awards ceremony was held at Google HQ in Dublin, which included the finalists giving a live ‘pressure pitch’ to the judges and audience. In attendance on the evening was Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys who said, “It’s a great achievement to be here. Irish entrepreneurs are among the best in the world. The people in this room are our future businesspeople. Your success is central to our success.”

The competition was split into three categories; Best Business Idea (pre-trading), Best Start-Up Business (up to 18 months) and Best Established Business (over 18 months), along with the overall winner of the best young entrepreneur.

The judging panel for this years final were; Brian Crowley, founder of TTM Group, Paddy Flynn, director of trust and safety at Google, Thomas Murray from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Louise Ward from LEO Roscommon, Sarah Doyle, CEO of Kinesense and Eoghan Hanrahan from Enterprise Ireland.

The winners and runners-up

Sharon Cunningham, co-founder of Shorla Pharma, claimed the overall award for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. Founded in 2018 with Orlaith Ryan, the company aims to improve how important medical treatments are delivered to women and children. A great example of this is the redevelopment of a children’s cancer drug from a capsule that can be difficult to swallow, into an oral solution.

Best Business Idea

  • Winner – Martin O’Reilly from Output Sports
  • Runner-up – Elizabeth McGloughlin from Tympany Medical

Best Start-Up Business

  • Winner – Sharon Cunningham from Shorla Pharma
  • Runner-up – Brendan Maloney from Skillko

Best Established Business

  • Sean McGarry from ShowerGem
  • Runner-up – Devan Hughes from (Buymie)

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Written by Stephen Larkin

Image: Twitter @IBYE_ie

Published 23 September, 2019