Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur

`Dynamic Dublin City Trio battle it out at Regional Final

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur


Three young entrepreneurs from Dublin City are going head-to-head with young entrepreneurs from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin at the Dublin Regional Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition, at the Westbury Hotel, today, Wednesday, 25th January from 5.30pm.

Local Enterprise Office Dublin City (LEO Dublin City) will be represented at this year’s Dublin Regional IBYE Final by a dynamic team of young entrepreneurs:


Diagnostics genius Brian Henderson, has developed diagnostic testing for infectious diseases suitable for use in GP clinics. Brian’s company ‘Baon Diagnostics’ is based in DIT Grangegorman ( Best Business Idea Category)



Ensuring there should be no compromise between health and indulgence, Samuel Dennigan’s ‘Strong Roots’ business plans to revolutionise the frozen food category offering healthy vegetable products. ‘Strong Roots’ is located in the Dublin Fruit and Vegetable Market (Best Start-Up Business Category)



Paul McDonald’s technology company ‘Sonitas Systems’ manufactures automated noise monitoring systems which is supported by a cloud based platform allowing users remote access. Paul’s business is situated in Dublin’s Pearse Street. (Best Established Business)



From a shortlist of twelve Dublin Regional finalists three will be selected by the judging panel to represent Dublin at the IBYE National Final in March 2017, one from each competition category.

So far, 180 talented entrepreneurs across every county in Ireland, aged between 18 and 35, have been awarded a total of €1.5 million in investment funding through the Local Enterprise Offices, after winning or becoming runners-up in IBYE County Finals.

This initiative for young entrepreneurs is being run by Dublin City LEO  and supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland. The investment awards will be used by the young entrepreneurs to help fund business start-ups, create new jobs locally and help develop new products for international markets.

As part of the supports on offer through the competition, 54 young Dublin regional entrepreneurs  benefited from a 2-day boot-camp training session in which they were put through their paces in every aspect of how to start and develop a business and develop their pitching skills.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D, said:  “This competition highlights that Ireland’s entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.  Our young entrepreneurs are the employers of the future, and are the backbone of the Irish economy. This investment will help all their businesses to grow and flourish and in turn will create and support more jobs throughout every region. I look forward to meeting more of our incredible entrepreneurial talent from around the country at the next stage of the competition.”

Greg Swift, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Dublin City wished local category winners the best of luck at the Regional Final, saying: “This year the quality of business ideas was very high with some strong entries from medical devices; food products and technology. There was a tremendous vibrancy at the bootcamps. It is great to see these young entrepreneurs going from strength to strength each year as the competition continues.  I would like to take this opportunity the wish the three Dublin City category winners the best of luck in the Dublin Regional Final.”


Our young entrepreneurs are hoping to follow in the footsteps of the three 2015 National Finalists from the region:  Curtis Moran of Rook App in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown in the Best Business Idea category, Isolde Johnson of The Cool Bean Company in Dublin City in the Best Start- Up Business category, and Peter Roberts of Roberts of Dalkey in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown in the Best Established Business category.

The region has enjoyed success at national level, as Eamon Keane from Xpreso Software in South Dublin clinched the national title of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ at the National Finals in 2014.

In 2015, Isolde Johnson of The Cool Bean Company ( )  representing LEO Dublin City won the Social Media award from Google for on-line business promotion.

More details about the competition and the supports available to young entrepreneurs are available through and from the IBYE website at


For further information contact:


Notes to Editor:

IBYE Regional Finals

For the details of all the Regional Finalists, please visit Three National Finalists will be selected at each Regional Final, one for each of the three competition categories.

About IBYE

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) is an enterprise initiative run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country and funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland. A €2 million investment fund is available through IBYE which supports young entrepreneurs through training, mentoring and direct financial investments.


To those aged between 18 and 35 with an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business, including: individuals, venture teams, partnerships, existing businesses with a new idea, or people overseas (including Irish emigrants) who will headquarter in Ireland.


A record 1,842 young entrepreneurs submitted entries to the current competition, a 32% increase on the previous year.


The three categories and county prize funds are as follows:

- Best Business Idea (pre-trading) – up to €10,000 investment fund through every LEO (€7,000 for category winner and €3,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)

- Best Start-Up Business (up to 36 months), with up to €20,000 investment fund through every LEO (€15,000 for category winner and €5,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)

- Best Established Business (over 36 months) with up to €20,000 investment fund through every LEO (€15,000 for category winner and €5,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)

At the County Final stage, winners and runners-up are awarded investment funds and category winners are now invited to represent their area at one of eight Regional Finals in January and February 2017.


Three national finalists, one for every category, will be selected to represent that Region at the National Final in March 2017.


A total of 24 national finalists will compete to become “Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur”, with a €100,000 investment fund to be awarded between five winners.