Jack is named best young entrepreneur
New Ross resident Jack Harte has been named Wexford's Best Young Entrepreneur in the county final of the Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur competition.
The 28-year-old picked up the award for his business Harte Outdoor Lighting, while he also won the category for Best Established Business. As a result, the young entrepreneur received an investment fund from LEO Wexford worth €15,000.
Mark Rowe, aged 32, from Kilmore won the Best Business Idea category for his business Dyno Med which involves healthcare data and analytics for sleep disorder breathing. He was awarded a prize of €7,000. Meanwhile, 34-year-old Ronan McGrath from Enniscorthy won €15,000 for coming first in the Best Startup category with his business Elevation Construction Network. This business is focused on the idea of online referral marketing. The category runners-up also shared an investment of €8,000. Patrick Kinsella, aged 29, from Wexford was runner-up in the Best Business Idea category for his business Numus, which focuses on innovative current accounts for smartphones. Gorey native Gilly Duggan, aged 33, was runner-up in the Best Start-Up Category for her greeting card, mug and framed print business Gilly and Rob.
The county winners will now proceed to eight regional finals in January and February 2017 from which 24 contenders (three from each region with one in each category) will be selected to compete for the national title of Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur. A further €100,000 investment fund will be available to invest in the winners of the three categories at the national final, one of which will also be named as Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur.
Speaking on the evening, Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office Wexford Tom Banville said:
'We started the search to find Ireland's best young entrepreneur in August and the competition received a record-breaking 64 entries this year with 1,800 young entrepreneurs applying nationally. After a very successful IBYE bootcamp and County Final, the future is bright for both youth entrepreneurship and job creation in the region.'
The county final took place in Wexford County Council Offices last week. In a bid to make it through to the next round, twelve county finalists made presentations and underwent interviews about their businesses. This year's judges included Karl Fitzpatrick of Chevron, John O'Connor from Enniscorthy Enterprise Centre and Helena Dempsey from Wexford Local Development.
The County Finals followed successful bootcamps all over Ireland. This year's competition attracted a record 1,800 entries around the country, up by a third on the 2015 competition.