24 businesses go forward as Entrepreneur of the Year finalists

Finalists include companies in financial services, technology and agriculture

From left: Jeremy Fitch of Invest Northern Ireland; Margaret Hearty of Intertrade Ireland; partner in charge of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year programme Frank O’Keeffe; and Pádraig Ó Céidigh, founder of Aer Arann and chairman of the judging panel. Photograph: Maxwells

From left: Jeremy Fitch of Invest Northern Ireland; Margaret Hearty of Intertrade Ireland; partner in charge of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year programme Frank O’Keeffe; and Pádraig Ó Céidigh, founder of Aer Arann and chairman of the judging panel. Photograph: Maxwells

 

Twenty-four businesses ranging from financial services and technology to agriculture and manufacturing are the finalists in this years Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) Programme .

They were chosen by a judging panel chaired by 2002 EOY winner and Aer Arran founder Pádraig Ó Céidigh. The members of the panel were Digicel owner Denis O’Brien, Ann Heraty of recruitment company CPL and Liam Casey of outsourcing manufacturer PCH.

The overall winner of the 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award – and the three category winners – will be announced on October 24th. The overall winner will then go on to participate in the World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monte Carlo in June 2014.

All 24 finalists will be profiled in business section of The Irish Times in the coming weeks and will join a group of 100 entrepreneurs, all previous finalists and winners of the EOY programme, for a week-long CEO retreat taking place between Chicago, Notre Dame University and New York in June.

The theme of the retreat is “accelerating the growth, ambition and development of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurial talent and their businesses,” according to Frank O’Keeffe, partner in charge of the Entrepreneur of the Year Programme.

“The week will include world-class executive education sessions with globally renowned experts in growth and internationalisation, as well as master classes with CEOs of some of the world’s biggest multinationals,” he said.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Programme is supported by The Irish Times , Newstalk, RTÉ, Enterprise Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland and Intertrade Ireland.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 finalists:

Emerging

Automated Intelligence – Mark Godfrey & Simon Cole

Barracuda FX – Maurice Curran

Budget Energy – Eleanor McEvoy

Datahug – Connor Murphy

Merit Software – Kerril Burke & Paul Burke

Sixteen South – Colin Williams

Sugru – Jane ní Dhulchaointigh

Wisetek Solutions – Sean Sheehan

Industry

AMCS Group – Jimmy Martin & Austin Ryan

Creagh Concrete Products – Seamus McKeague

Freshgrass Group – Liam Woulfe

Jam Media – John Rice

Keelings – Caroline Keeling

Kylemore Services Group – Brian Hogan

Mash Direct – Martin Hamilton

Kellen Investments – Peter Dixon

International

ATA Group – Peter Cosgrove

Callan Bacon Company – John Walshe

Escher Group Holdings plc – Liam Church and Fionnuala Higgins

Lifes2Good – James Murphy

Samco Agricultural Manufacturing – Samuel Shine

Sofrimar – Lorcan Barden & Leslie Bates

Suretank Group – Patrick Joy

Voxpro – Dan Kiely and Linda Kiely