Terry Fox of bespoke paper cup manufacturer Cupprint, was last night crowned winner of the emerging category at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
Founded in 2009 with seven employees, Cupprint was established to address the need in the market for short- run, fast turnaround paper cups. Traditionally, paper cup manufacturers could only offer 50,000 cups minimum with delivery times of 10-16 weeks, which put off independent coffee shops.
Cupprint offers a minimum order quantity of 1,000 cups for marketing companies and 5,000 for retail/cafes in a turnaround time of 15 days anywhere in Europe.
Cupprint produces eight million cups a month and employs more than 55 people at its plant in Ireland and sales offices in Germany. The company has produced cups for brands such as Audi, Mercedes, Mars Foods and Kraft Foods.
With an established presence across Europe, the company has plans to enter the US market as well as ambitions to be the first company to offer a business-to- consumer solution for paper cups in the coming year.
“With their record turnaround times and smaller batch runs, Cupprint has solved a genuine problem in one of the fastest growing niches in the global restaurant business,” Frank O’Keeffe, partner in charge of EY Entrepreneur of the Year, said.
Mr Fox said last night that he was “flabbergasted” to have won.
He said entrepreneurs must define their market by the resources available to them, adding that the internet is one of the best and least expensive resources to achieve a global market.
“The Irish entrepreneur isn’t a guy with a wax moustache and a monocle. He is just a normal person. This is not an elite club. Everyone is down to earth,” he added.
The other finalists in the emerging category were Bill Walsh of Aspire Technology, Tony Judge of Clubs to Hire, Oisín Hanrahan of Handy, Seán Mitchell and David Moloney of Movidius, Andrew Murphy of Sláinte Healthcare, Brendan O’Driscoll and Aidan Sliney of Soundwave and Pat Phelan of Trustev.