Young Irish talent top Forbes 30 under 30 list

Almost a dozen young Irish and Irish-based people including Cork entrepreneur Fiona Edwards-Murphy from ApisProtect have been named in the annual Forbes 30 under 30 listing for 2021.

Each year a prestigious global list of young innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders aged under 30 who are heralded as strong influencers on the future is published.

These young people are leading lights in a variety of fields including music, business, technology, media, healthcare, science, social entrepreneurship, retail and more.

The 2021 list featured a maelstrom of young Irish talent and here they are:

Paul Allan (25), partner, JP Morgan

Trinity graduate Paul Allan is not only a partner at JP Morgan in London but also global co-head of the bank’s venture capital fund. Before joining JP Morgan straight out of college, he had a string of start-ups including Base Influence in Dublin.

Ralf Alwani (29), co-founder of Urban Scale Interventions

Alwani’s company Urban Scale Interventions is heavily involved in the £25m ‘Our Future Foyle’ project to transform Derry’s riverfront.

Jack Coulter (26), artist

Belfast-based abstract expressionist known for visceral quality of his paintings. Owners of his works include Anne Hathaway, Paul McCartney, Patti Smith and the Freddie Mercury Estate.

Joy Crookes (22), singer, songwriter

Bangladeshi/Irish singer who was shortlisted for the Rising Star Award at the 2020 BRIT Awards and BBC Sound’s 2020 list. She has been garnering comparisons to Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill.

William Conaghan (29), co-founder of Change Donations

Conaghan’s Dublin-based micro-donation company Change Donations that he co-founded with Lizzy Hayashida helps charities to connect with a younger generation of donors.

Fiona Edwards-Murphy (29), co-founder of ApisProtect

Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy, CEO and Co-Founder of ApisProtect is among the most widely published authors on Internet of Things and honeybees. Her company ApisProtect uses beehive sensor technology and machine learning in its bee monitoring technology. It monitors the health of more than 20m bees in Europe and North America.

Fionn Ferreira (29), founder and CEO of Fionn & Co

West Cork native Fionn Ferreira’s Fionn & Co is dedicated to removing microplastics from water. He won the 2019 Google Science Fair for his method.

Neil Dunne (25), co-founder and chief operating officer of Andrson

Dunne is co-founder and COO of Andrson, a sound-driven AI-powered tool that connects emerging artists industry professionals to help them get discovered. Since it launched in 2019 it has more than 8,000 musicians and 30,000 tracks in its system.

Elizabeth Gilligan (29), co-founder of Material Evolution

Gillligan’s start-up Material Evolution uses machine learning to develop the chemistry of concrete material to ideally fit any application. This “algorithmic concrete” results in a product five times more durable than traditional concrete and that also reduces its carbon footprint by 85pc.

Kieran Guilbert (29), editor, Thomson Reuters Foundation

As Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking editor at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Guilbert manages a team of nine journalists worldwide dedicated to the subject.

Paul Mescal (25), actor

Emmy-nominated Kildare native Mescal is famous for his role in the popular TV drama series Normal People, adapted from the novel of Irish author Sally Rooney.

Paul O’Donovan (26), Cork rower

Skibbereen athlete who alongside his older brother Gary won Ireland’s first ever rowing medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and is hotly tipped to succeed in the Tokyo Olympics this year.

Main image at top: Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy, co-founder, ApisProtect

By John Kennedy (

Published: 9 April 2021