EY Entrepreneur of the Year: 24 firms shortlisted for award

Finalists employ almost 3,000 people and generate annual revenues of €450m

The shortlist for the 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards has been announced, with 24 companies selected to compete across three categories.

The finalists were selected by a judging panel chaired by 2006 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Anne Heraty, who is chief executive of Cpl Resources.

Now in its 19th year, the programme works to recognise, promote and build a supportive community around Ireland’s high-growth entrepreneurs.

Representing the full spectrum of industries, this year’s 24 finalists employ almost 3,000 people and generate annual revenues of €450 million.


“This year’s shortlist is of a remarkable standard, and it is particularly encouraging to see an increase in the number of female finalists in the programme from last year,” said Kevin McLoughlin, partner lead for the awards.

“The finalists represent a fantastic mix of listed and private entrepreneur-led companies from a diverse range of sectors, including food, retail, technology and manufacturing. There is also a particularly strong spread of finalists from the burgeoning life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors in Ireland.”

The finalists in the emerging category are: Stephen Smith of Kitman Labs; Mark McCloskey of Oneview Healthcare; Niall Stringer and Gillian Maxwell of Tiger Stores; Paul Quigley and Andrew Mullaney of Newswhip; Brian Lee of Freshly Chopped; Ciara Clancy of Beats Medical; Louise Grubb of Q1 Scientific; and Leona and Sean McAllister of PlotBox.

Industry category

The finalists in the industry category are: Dr

Suresh Tharma


Ashok Songra


3fivetwo Group


Jim Wright


JMW Farms


James Leckey

of Leckey;

Gareth Loye

of M&M Contractors;

Leslie Codd


Codd Mushrooms


Stephen Vernon


Green Property


Colin Culliton

of TPI Group; and

Eamon Donnelly




The finalists in the international category are: James McGee of Athlone Extrusions; Brendan Mooney of Kainos Group; Kieran O'Keeffe of MobileWebAdz; John Moore of 3D4Medical; Clodagh Cavanagh of Abbey Machinery; Noel Moran of Prepaid Financial Services and EComm Merchant Solutions; Maurice Healy of the Healy Group; and Gavan Walsh of ICabbi.

As part of the programme, the 24 finalists will join 50 other entrepreneurs for a week-long “CEO Retreat” to Boston this month. This will include masterclasses with decision-makers at the helm of the city’s most successful start-ups and renowned brands, as well as with leading academics from Harvard and MIT.

The shortlisted entrepreneurs will vie for the title of EY Entrepreneur of the Year at an awards ceremony in Dublin in October. The winner will go on to represent Ireland at World Entrepreneur of the Year in Monaco in June 2017.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist