Nationwide search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur

The Action Plan for Jobs initiative is aimed at entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 30

Eamon Keane, founder of Dublin-based Xpreso software, was named Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur last year, winning a total €50,000 investment fund for his business.

Eamon Keane, founder of Dublin-based Xpreso software, was named Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur last year, winning a total €50,000 investment fund for his business.

 

The search is on for Ireland’s best young entrepreneurs, with the deadline for applications closing this Friday.

The competition has a total prize fund of €2 million, with €50,000 awarded through every Local Enterprise Office, €20,000 of which will go to the “Best Established Business” winner. Another €20,000 investment fund is on offer for the “Best Start-up” winner locally, with €10,000 on offer to the “Best New Idea” winner.

Three winners will be chosen by every Local Enterprise Office, and they will progress at one of eight regional finals in October, with the national final taking place in December to announce Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur for 2015.

The Action Plan for Jobs initiative is aimed at entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 30, and the overall winner – Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur – will receive an investment of €50,000.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said more than 1,000 people entered the competition last year, with more than 400 young entrepreneurs benefitting from business bootcamps, mentoring and investment prizes.

“Focussing on job creation, the competition is open to everyone with their own business or innovative ideas for a new one,” he said.

Last year

Eamon Keane

Mr Keane co-founded the parcel tracking software company in 2013 after dropping out of his PhD studies and has already signed up Ireland’s biggest independent courier company.

Philip Martin from Blanco Nino in Tipperary won the best new idea award last year, while the best established business award went to Dean Gammell from The Group System in Westmeath.

Mr Gammell now employs 32 people in Kinnegad and used his investment prize fund to expand his group booking software business into the UK.

Regional winner, Shane Byrne of Wicklow-based mobile app development company Showoff, recently signed an international contract and has doubled his workforce to 14 since entering the competition in 2014.

Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices said the competition aims to help young entrepreneurs grow and develop their businesses further, gaining investment, skills and connections that can open up new markets and opportunities. She said more than 450 young entrepreneurs will benefit from a series of business bootcamps in September, as part of the competition.

“To help young entrepreneurs refine and improve their business plans and proposals, expert mentoring on a one-to-one basis will be offered through the business bootcamps,” she said.