Wexford’s best young entrepreneurs have been honoured at a special ceremony in the Council Chambers and have received significant investment to bolster their fledgling businesses.

Part of a nationwide search to find ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs’ (IBYE) for 2019, the winners of the county finals will now progress to the regionals in Carlow on June 19.

The ‘Best New Idea’ category was won by Michelle O’Neill, founder of The Perfect Job Ltd in Camolin, Co. Wexford. The Perfect Job is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven job platform which enables people to find jobs which match their expectations while also saving employers time by allowing AI to sift through CVs on their behalf. ‘I’m incredibly honoured to be representing Wexford in IBYE Best Business Idea at the Regional Finals. It’s a fantastic competition that is extremely well run and is a great opportunity to network and learn from those around you,’ said Michelle, who also received a €7,000 investment fund, The runner-up award and €3,000 investment fund went to Sue Murphy of WellWex in Wexford.

Mark Rowe, founder of Dynomed Ltd in Kilmore, was the the winner of the ‘Best Start-Up Business’ category and received a €15,000 investment fund. Dynomed is a digital health company focused on patients who have been diagnosed with a chronic sleeping disorder called sleep apnoea. Having previously worked as a sleep scientist, Mark initially chose to focus on this particular condition for personal reasons.

‘My mother was diagnosed with sleep apnoea and that’s how I ended up looking at ways to treat it,’ said Mark who plans to use the investment to build the hardware for Dynomed.

The runner-up in this category, collecting a €5,000 investment fund, was Joseph Sinnott, Luxe Box Ireland Ltd in New Ross.

Meanwhile, the title of ‘Best Established Business’, with an investment fund of €15,000, went to Willie Devereux of The Natural Ice Cream Company t/a Scup Gelato. Willie and his team supply luxurious gelato to the country’s finest hotels and restaurants. Reacting to the award, Willie, was also awarded the title of ‘Best Young Entrepreneur’ for County Wexford said the investment will primarily be used for marketing purposes and revealed plans to expand into the Asian market. He also outlined the importance of using local produce and supporting Wexford businesses.

‘We source as much of our produce locally as we can, strawberries, raspberries, Jeffares’ blackcurrants, wherever it’s possible to use Wexford ingredients we do so,’ he said.

The runner-up in this category, scooping a €5,000 investment fund, was Harry Kehoe, Mibodi Apparel from Palace, Enniscorthy.

Commenting on the overall quality of the finalists and the future of entrepreneurship in Wexford, Breege Cosgrave, Senior Enterprise Development Officer with Local Enterprise Office Wexford said: “As our winners clearly demonstrate, youth entrepreneurship is thriving here in county Wexford. In 2019, Local Enterprise Office Wexford supported 39 young entrepreneurs through the IBYE competition and over 272 young entrepreneurs in total, since the competition began in 2014. We want to build on that success by supportting Wexford’s young entrepreneurs today and into the future.”

The winners from Wexford will now progress to the regional finals, which take place on June 19 in Carlow. In all, 24 national finalists will be selected at regional finals across the country to compete for the title of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’.

Simon Bourke, Wexford People – May 11, 2019