Roscommon’s ‘Best Young Entrepreneurs’ for 2019 were announced at an awards ceremony hosted by Local Enterprise Office Roscommon recently.
The three winners and three runners-up were chosen from 13 local finalists and will now share a €50,000 investment fund.
IBYE, now in its fifth year, is a nationwide youth enterprise initiative to help 18-35 year olds with an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business. In 2019, 1,644 young entrepreneurs entered IBYE, which is an initiative of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and supported by Enterprise Ireland and local authorities.
The county final was hosted by Louise Ward, Head of Enterprise at LEO Roscommon. Cathaoirleach of Roscommon Cllr. Ivan Connaughton was in attendance to present the awards. Among the special guests at the awards ceremony were Eugene Cummins, Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council, TDs Eugene Murphy and Denis Naughten, Senator Terry Leyden, local councillors and members of Roscommon’s business community.
The ‘Best New Idea’ category, with a €7,000 investment fund, was won by Thomas Finucane, founder of License! Learner in Monksland. License! is a platform through which you can find a driving instructor that suits your schedule, budget and location.
The runner-up award and €3,000 investment fund went to Ciaran Feeney of Agrify in Scramogue.
The winner of the ‘Best Start-Up Business’ category and the €15,000 investment fund was Wayne Auchmuty, founder of Scaled Rigs Ltd. in Lecarrow. Scaled Rigs Ltd design and manufacture children’s toy ride-on battery powered model trucks for ages 5 to 13 years.
The runner-up in this category, collecting a €5,000 investment fund, was Peter Kilmartin of Spicy Dog Media in Roscommon Town.
Meanwhile, the title of ‘Best Established Business’, with an investment fund of €15,000, went to Darren Kilcoyne, founder of Kilcoyne Tree Surgery Ltd. which provide all aspects of professional tree care, specialising in electrical utility vegetation management and training.
The runner-up in this category, scooping a €5,000 investment fund, was Finnian O’Connor of Craic N Campers in Roscommon Town.
Wayne Auchmuty was also awarded the title of ‘Best Young Entrepreneur’ for County Roscommon.
In the lead-up to the county final, each finalist received targeted business supports through Local Enterprise Office Roscommon.
Louise Ward, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Roscommon said: “As our winners clearly demonstrate, youth entrepreneurship is thriving here in Roscommon. IBYE is about discovering local potential and nurturing that talent through financial supports, mentoring, training and networking opportunities. In 2019, Local Enterprise Office Roscommon supported 48 young entrepreneurs through the IBYE competition and over 150 young entrepreneurs in total since the competition began in 2014”.
Eugene Cummins, Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council said: “We have excellent start-ups and entrepreneurs in Roscommon – we just don’t have enough of them. It is great to see so many excellent entrepreneurs and business people getting involved in this initiative, and I am delighted to congratulate the 13 finalists here today and wish the winners every success in the later stages of the competition”.
The county winners from Roscommon will now progress to the regional finals, which take place on June 12th. In all, 24 national finalists will be selected at regional finals across the country to compete for the overall title of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’.
At the IBYE national final on Sunday, 15th of September, which takes place at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin, a €100,000 investment fund will be awarded to winners.
* Further details on the competition and supports available to young entrepreneurs are available through www.localenterprise.ie and www.ibye.ie.