This year's contestants
The county final of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ 2019 will be held in the Heritage Hotel Killenard, this Thursday, May 2, commencing at 12.45pm. The winners of each category will go on to represent Laois at the Regional Finals of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2019.
The 15 Laois finalists are as follows:
BEST BUSINESS IDEA CATEGORY:
Philip is a professional martial artist based in Portarlington. He has competed internationally on some of the world’s biggest promotions. Philip’s business idea is to set up a national amateur martial arts league and provide regular competition for adults, juniors and kids. His business idea is GAMA: Gaelic Athletic Martial Arts.
Claire is based in Borris-in-Ossory and her business idea is to create Junior and Leaving Certificate board games for subject specific classrooms. She is currently working on her final prototype and is seeking funding to make the idea a reality.
Dr. Diane Cooper
Dr. Diane Cooper has been a specialist researcher in obesity, insulin resistance and chronic disease for the past 15 years.
She is highly educated with a PhD and Masters in the field. Her business idea is based on developing a point-of-care device which would allow for the global measurement of insulin resistance.
Based in Portarlington, Helen’s business idea ‘Mannequin’ wants to revolutionize retail by turning e-commerce into a personalised physical experience for digital native shoppers powered by digital commerce data and AI technologies.
BEST START UP BUSINESS:
Eamon has seen a large interest in businesses looking for space and Eamon has set up Vision 85 which is a Business / Co-working Hub. His mission is to promote and support local businesses and start ups by providing a networking hub.
Marcin has set up a new bakery and retail outlet in Portlaoise and Mountmellick called the Sweet Bakery Ltd.
The Sweet Bakery offers quality breads and cakes at reasonable prices and Marcin intends to see the retail shop as a marketing channel to promote his products.
Aisling has set up a business called IntegriLeads which is a lead generation company which schedules b2b appointments increasing sales pipeline.
She works with companies across all industries with a specific focus on IT.
She utilises the latest technologies giving real-time access to contact information for millions of professionals globally enabling her to give a pipeline of qualifies leads to her clients.
Based in Emo, Anthony set up a business called DataHarp which is a software development business, with a focus on software for the maintenance of management systems.
His modular system allows clients to keep track of incidents, document control, audits, assets, suppliers and training records.
BEST ESTABLISHED BUSINESS:
Alan set up the Alan Meredith Studio in 2015 and provides design and manufacturing services within the luxury furniture, architecture and landscape design sector.
The Studio’s focus is on the use of wood to make refined, functional and sculptural masterpieces.
Based in Mountmellick, Alan won the Best Start up Business in 2016 in ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ Competition.
His work has been exhibited in London, Beijing, Paris, Venice, Canada, Basel and Barcelona. He has won a wide array of industry awards.
Connor is a shareholder in Allwood Architectural Joinery which is a family run company of forty close-knit highly skilled craftsmen which was established in 1997 and specialises in the design and manufacture of specialised joinery for hotels and bars and commercial fit outs.
DS Sports was set up by Darren Strong in 2014 and he sells bespoke sportswear to clubs, schools all over Ireland. He also exports sports gear outside Ireland and sells work wear.
Amie Colgan set up Nuvo Personnel in 2010 and is based in Portlaoise.
Nuvo Personnel is a temporary recruitment specialist agency. She has been placing staff in jobs since opening the business and is now looking at expansion in sector placements.
Her business has a person centered ethos and her focus is to build teams that function to their maximum capability.
Nikita O’ Rourke
Based in Mountmellick, Nikita set up her business ‘Fetch Your Pet Needs’ which specialises in a natural approach to pet nutrition and pet care.
Fetch launched as an online business in June 2016 serving customers throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland using next day delivery service with DPD. She offers specialised products which includes the very growing own brand of dog food: Nourish Rite.
She currently sells this online, instore and now also wholesale it to veterinary practices. Fetch is now in its third year of business and it is continuously growing as the demand for good quality pet food, treats and supplements are crucial to pet owners now.
Stephen set up his business Dunmasc Genetics Ltd in 2014 and won the ‘Best Established Business’ Category in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Competition in 2015.
Through continued process automation and innovation in service delivery, his vision is to be the largest supplier of high-quality bovine semen in the global market.
Stephen is the Managing Director of Dunmasc Genetics and has completed a Masters Degree in business practices.
John’s company ‘Portlaoise Springs Ltd’ is the largest distributor of commercial vehicle leaf springs in Ireland. The business has been trading since 1985 and employs 10 local people and he plans to expand further. Portlaoise Springs Ltd. also offers fitting service / reconditioning / modification and manufacturing.