Kildare's Best Young Entrepreneurs for 2019 were revealed at an awards ceremony hosted by Kildare County Council’s Local Enterprise Office last Thursday, May 2.
As part of a nationwide search launched by Ministers Heather Humphreys and Pat Breen to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs (IBYE), the six were chosen from 18 local finalists and will share a €50,000 investment fund. IBYE, now in its fifth year, is a nationwide young enterprise initiative to help 18 to 35-year-olds with an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business.
The ‘Best New Idea’ category, with a €7,000 investment fund, was won by Claire Afolabi aged 34, founder of Little Sitters in Kilcullen. The online babysitting directory provides parents with vetted, interviewed, reference checked and trained babysitters, recruited through an easy to use website. The runner-up award and €3,000 investment fund went to Eoin Mulvey,of Naas, age 29 with arieal delivery service CarriAer - the digital infrastructure on which aerial commercial delivery via drones/Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) will operate.
The winner of the ‘Best Start-Up Business’ category and the €15,000 investment fund was Pierce Dargan aged 26, founder of Tincomy Ltd T/A Equine MediRecord in The Curragh. The subscription-based software service automates medical record compliance in the equine industry. The runner-up in this category, collecting a €5,000 investment fund, was John Keegan,
aged 34, of Ellie Professional Signature Men's Grooming Products - a luxury mens hair styling product range in Celbridge.
Meanwhile, the title of ‘Best Established Business’, with an investment fund of €15,000, went to Conor Browne, aged 28, founder of Conor Browne Wreaths. Ireland’s largest producer of fresh Christmas wreaths, foliage, Christmas trees and florist sundries. The runner-up in this category, scooping a €5,000 investment fund, was Denise Phillips,
aged 34, of Pelo hairdressing in Newbridge. The hair scalp specialists offer free scalp camera service and alopecia t-
parting fitters and wigs.
Conor Browne was also awarded the title of ‘Best Young Entrepreneur’ for Kildare.
The county winners from Kildare will now progress to the regional finals, which take place in June. 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, September 15, which takes place at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin, a €100,000 investment fund will be awarded to winners.