EY awards: Jack Teeling named best emerging entrepreneur

Teeling is the toast of the town after being awarded for its part in whiskey renaissance

26/10/2017 -- Winner of the EY Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year Jack Teeling of Teeling Whiskey Company.Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

26/10/2017 -- Winner of the EY Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year Jack Teeling of Teeling Whiskey Company.Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

Jack Teeling, the founder and chief executive of Teeling Whiskey, has won top prize in the emerging category at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

Teeling, the first whiskey maker to establish a distillery in Dublin in more than 125 years, was founded by Mr Teeling in 2012.

Mr Teeling , who is running in the Dublin marathon this weekend, said it would be a few days before he could properly celebrate winning the award.

He added it was “good to get one over” his dad John, who was a finalist in the same awards 15 years ago.

“Seeing the calibre of the other finalists...I was truly shocked and honoured to win. It isn’t just for us but also for the industry and of course for everyone working for us,” said Mr Teeling.

“There is a truly global appetite for Irish whiskey, but we are still at the start of a long journey so have a lot of work to do but this gives us a different platform to work from,” he said.

Based in Newmarket, Dublin 8, Teeling is exported to more than 50 international markets. In Ireland, its whiskies are stocked in 800 bars and 1,700 outlets. Sales of the company’s brands increased 37 per cent last year to €12.2 million on a like-for-like basis.

The Teeling distillery opened in June 2015 and has attracted more than 185,000 visitors. It is set to undergo a €500,000 expansion.

Earlier this year, Teeling sold a minority stake to global spirits group Bacardi, a deal that put an enterprise valuation of €80 million on the Irish business.

Outstanding

“Jack is an outstanding example of a young Irish entrepreneur who has made exceptional commercial progress in just five years,” said Joe Healy, divisional manager with responsibility for high potential start-up companies at Enterprise Ireland and one of this year’s judges.

“He has developed an international business by backing his own vision, developing a strong brand presence with a high level of innovation in the business model,” he added.

The other finalists in the emerging category this year were: Aoife Lawler and Niamh Sherwin Barry of The Irish Fairy Door Company; Niall McGarry of Maximum Media/Joe Media; Ian McKenna of eLight; Jack and Declan O’Connor of BHSL, Daithi O’Connor of Revive Active; Ciara Donlon of Theya Healthcare; and Samuel Dennigan of Strong Roots.