TWO Young Dublin City entrepreneurs reach National Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Competition (IBYE)

Local Enterprise Office Dublin City (LEO Dublin City) has confirmed that Samuel Dennigan’s ‘Strong Roots’ company based in the Dublin Fruit and Vegetable Market and Brian Henderson’s ‘Baon Diagnostics’  business, located in DIT Grangegorman, have clinched their place in the national final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition.

The young Dublin City entrepreneurs, mentored by LEO Dublin City, will represent the Dublin Region in the Best Start-Up Category (Sam Dennigan) and Best Business Idea Category (Brian Henderson) in the national final which takes place in Dublin on March 5th. The two entrepreneurs now have the opportunity, along with 22 other national finalists, to become Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur and share in a €100,000 winners’ investment fund.

The three category winners who will go forward to the National Final were announced by the Minister for Employment and Small Business, Mr. Pat Breen T.D. at the IBYE Regional Final in the Westbury Hotel in Dublin last night.

The other Dublin regional finalist, selected by the judging panel, is Ciara Clancy representing LEO Dun-Laoghaire Rathdown.  Her company, ‘Beats Medical’ will represent the Dublin Region in the Best Established Business Category.

Speaking at the IBYE Regional Final, Minister Breen T.D. said: “IBYE is not just a competition, it is a training ground to guide and mentor young entrepreneurs through all the stages of developing and sustaining a business.  The aim of the initiative is to support a culture of entrepreneurship among young people, to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice, and to encourage young people to set up new businesses which will ultimately create and sustain jobs. What we have witnessed here this evening is the proof that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well across Fingal, Dublin City, South Dublin and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.  We need more of this energy and commitment in order to create and sustain more jobs across the regions”.

He added: “I want to congratulate the winners here tonight and to all of you who entered the competition through the four Local Enterprise Offices in Dublin. It takes courage and commitment to start up a business. I hope that your participation in IBYE has set you on a path to continued success. We should all look forward to the final with great enthusiasm and I wish all three category winners the very best of luck at the National Final on 5th March.”

Greg Swift, Head of Enterprise with LEO Dublin City, congratulated the local entrepreneur, saying:

“Our search to find and support Ireland’s best young entrepreneurs, which started last September, has turned up some incredible business talent.  Our local entrepreneurs are the business leaders of the future and the entrants in the competition have all shown innovation and drive. After a very successful bootcamp, County Final and now Regional Final, the county will be proudly represented in the ultimate stage of the competition – the IBYE National Final in March.”

Judging takes place in early March and each finalist will have the opportunity to pitch their business plan to the judging panel. They will be assessed on criteria such as the level of innovation in their business, the  potential for future job creation and their leadership skills.

Aimed at 18 to 35-year-olds, the IBYE initiative is run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) nationwide, 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.

Competition details and results are available from and information around the supports available to young entrepreneurs through the Local Enterprise Offices is available from


Photos available on request

For further information contact:

Notes to Editor:

About the Dublin Regional Winners:

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)   LEO Dublin City

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)  LEO Dublin City

Ciara Clancy business ‘ Beats Medical’ is based Sandyford, Dublin. Her company provides treatments for Parkinson ’s disease through technology to help improve mobility and the dexterity systems of the condition. LEO Dun-Laoighaire Rathdown

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.

During the application phase (closing date of October 14th 2016), the competition was open 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 were 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 before Christmas, winners and runners-up were awarded investment funds and category winners were then invited represent their area at one of eight Regional Finals in January and February 2017.

Three national finalists, one for every category, are currently being 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 shared between five prize winners on March 5th.