WE send best wishes this week to Piece Dargan, national finalist from Kildare Co Council’s Local Enterprise Office in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE). The final takes place in Dublin this weekend.
Pierce was in Dublin last week to meet with Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys and Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen. They were joined by the rest of the 24 Finalists at Government Buildings in the lead up to the IBYE National Final.
The finalists had the opportunity to discuss their businesses and ideas with the Ministers. The IBYE programme is run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in local authorities, funded by the Government of Ireland with the support of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland.
The 24 entrepreneurs also attended a pitch training day at Google HQ in Dublin where they were given extensive pitch training and had the chance to meet their fellow finalists for the first time.
Pierce Dargan of Equine MediRecord from The Curragh is backed by Kildare County Council’s Local Enterprise Office. His business focuses on automating medical record compliance in the equine industry through a subscription-based software service.
Now launched in the UK and French markets, Equine MediRecord is now a leader in the race to simplify data management. This is the second year in-a-row that a client of Local Enterprise Office Kildare will be represented at national level, with Matthew McCann of Maynooth winning top prize last year with his company Access Earth.
Jacqui McNabb, Head of Enterprise Kildare Co Council wished Pierce the best ahead of the final; “Pierce has been an exceptional entrepreneur to work with right through the IBYE process. He has an excellent attitude to furthering his business and that makes our job a lot easier. He is a credit to Kildare County Council’s Local Enterprise Office and a further example of how the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the region. We wish him the very best of luck in the National Final and we look forward to continuing to work with him beyond the Final to help him grow his business.”
The finalists for this year’s Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur include a recent BBC Dragons’ Den participant, an entrepreneur using artificial intelligence drones for river rescues, a serial entrepreneur bringing shopping from your phone to your door, a 19-year-old whose skills learned in transition year now sees her employ 23 people, an entrepreneur using plant based nutrition to combat MS and diabetes and a young woman who is revolutionising the methods by which horses are bred.
The 24 IBYE Finalists for 2019 will be competing for a €100,000 fund across the three categories. The winner of the Best Business Idea will receive a €15,000 investment with the runner up securing a €5,000 investment. The Best Start-Up Business and Best-Established Business winners will receive a €25,000 investment each with the runners up in those categories receiving a €5,000 investment, while the 2019 Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur selected from the three category winners will receive an additional €20,000 investment.