Sam Moffett is 2023 EY Entrepreneur of the Year

Enterprising Monaghan founder behind Moffett Automated Storage named Entrepreneur of the Year.

Sam Moffett, the founder and managing director of Moffett Automated Storage, has been named the emerging and overall EY Entrepreneur of the Year for 2023.

Ciaran Marron, CEO and Founder of Activ8 Solar Energies in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan was named 2023 EY Established Entrepreneur Of The Year.

“As a small island nation, we are incredibly fortunate to have such a wealth of entrepreneurial talent who make such a significant contribution to our economies and communities every day”

Tom Walsh, CEO and Co-Founder of Staycity was named 2023 EY International Entrepreneur Of The Year.

Each year EY also presents a Special Recognition Award to individuals who have made a significant contribution to life on the island of Ireland through their vision, innovation, and commitment to excellence. This year, the prestigious honour was awarded to David McRedmond, CEO of An Post in recognition of his work in leading some of Ireland’s best known businesses through transformational change.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Ireland programme is supported by Premium Corporate Sponsor Julius Baer International, and Government sponsors Enterprise Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland.

Phenomenal Irish entrepreneurs

“This year’s finalists are a phenomenal group of entrepreneurs who are achieving incredible success both at home and abroad. It has been such a privilege to get to know them and their businesses over the past eight months and I look forward to their continued involvement in the programme through our alumni network,” said Roger Wallace, partner lead for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme.

“On behalf of EY, I wish to extend my warmest congratulations to this year’s award winners. These entrepreneurs have shown themselves to be visionary leaders in their industries, developing innovative concepts that enhance how we live, work, and experience the world around us.

“The endeavours of Ireland’s entrepreneurial community are well recognised across the globe. As a small island nation, we are incredibly fortunate to have such a wealth of entrepreneurial talent who make such a significant contribution to our economies and communities every day. Collectively the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ alumni community generates revenues of €25bn, and employs more than 250,000 people across the island of Ireland. Their success is our collective success and EY is proud and committed to supporting them on their journey to realising their full potential.”

Winning businesses

Headquartered in Monaghan and employing 65 people, Moffett Automated Storage Ltd specialises in the development of innovative, automated pallet storage and warehousing solutions. The company designs, manufactures, installs, and supports fully integrated automated warehouse pallet storage systems that enables end users to pick and pack from palletised materials. This disruptive, dynamic business offers a range of cost, operational and sustainability benefits to clients. It enables clients to double the storage capacity within existing warehouse facilities and can reduce the energy usage of companies operating within a freezer environment in the cold storage industry by 50%.

Established by Marron in 2007, Activ8 Solar Energies is a pioneer in the solar energy sector in Ireland, helping to lead the nation’s transition to sustainable energy. Activ8 Solar Energies has installed more than 100,000 solar panels across Ireland and works on both residential and commercial properties. The company is on a mission to empower homeowners and businesses to generate renewable electricity and reduce their carbon footprint.  

‘We started with flyers in doors’: How Activ8 became a €50m business

Walsh co-founded short-term apartment rental company Staycity in 2003 along with his brother Ger. The company specialises in rental of short- and mid-stay aparthotels in prime European city locations for both business and leisure travellers. The Staycity Group (which operates under the Staycity and Wilde Aparthotels brands) has grown to become one of Europe’s leading aparthotel operators with an estate of 5,300 apartments across 32 locations.

“On behalf of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Judging Panel I would like to extend my congratulations to each of this year’s finalists,” said Anne Heraty, EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 and chair of the judging panel.

“They are a truly remarkable group of business leaders who are masters in the art of entrepreneurship. Once again, this year the calibre of finalists was incredibly high and presented the judging panel with a significant challenge. I would like to congratulate this year’s winners. I am very excited for what the future holds for them, and I look forward to following and celebrating their continued success. I would also like to extend a very warm welcome to the full cohort of this year’s finalists into the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Alumni community where I know they will continue to make a positive impact.” 

Main image: Sam Moffett, founder and MD of Moffett Automated Storage

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.