The Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) National finalist from Kildare County Council’s Local Enterprise Office
Pierce Dargan, was in Dublin this week to meet with Ministers Heather Humphreys and Pat Breen.
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They were joined by the rest of the 24 finalists at government buildings in the lead up to the IBYE national final.
The finalists had the opportunity to discuss their businesses and ideas with the ministers ahead of the IBYE Final
which will take place on September 15 in Google HQ in Dublin. The IBYE programme is run by the 31 Local
Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in local authorities, funded by the Government of Ireland with the support of the
Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland.
The 24 entrepreneurs also attended a pitch training day at Google HQ in Dublin where they were given extensive
pitch training and they had the chance to meet their fellow finalists for the first time.
Competing for the title of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur in the upcoming national final is Pierce Dargan of
Equine MediRecord from The Curragh, Newbridge.
Backed by Kildare County Council’s Local Enterprise Office, the business focuses on automating medical record compliance in the equine industry through a subscription-based software service.
Now launched in the UK and French markets, Equine MediRecord is now a leader in the race to simplify data management. This is the second year in-a-row that a client of Local Enterprise Office Kildare will be represented at national level, with Matthew McCann of Maynooth winning top prize last year with his company Access Earth.
Jacqui McNabb, Head of Enterprise Kildare County Council said; “Pierce has been an exceptional entrepreneur to work with right through the IBYE process. He has an excellent attitude to furthering his business and that makes our job a lot easier. He is a credit to Kildare County Council’s Local Enterprise Office and a further example of how the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the region. We wish him the very best of luck in the National Final and we look forward to continuing to work with him beyond the Final to help him grow his business.”
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar said: “Our young entrepreneurs are our business leaders of the future; their ideas will help to create jobs and ensure that our economy continues to evolve and grow. We want to encourage entrepreneurship and that’s one of the reasons we’re lowering taxes and extending more social benefits to the self- employed. Congratulations to all this year’s IBYE finalists, who are showcasing the huge wealth of ideas that exist across the Irish start-up sector. This competition, and the recognition it provides, will be the first step for many of you on a long and hopefully successful entrepreneurial road.”
Minister Humphreys said: “The IBYE programme has been a hugely successful initiative of the Government with an investment fund of €2 million. Since its inception in 2014, it has attracted over 7,000 applications and has provided our young entrepreneurs with the peer-to-peer experience and contacts that open doors to help them on their entrepreneurial journey now and into the future. These finalists are Ireland’s very best young business minds and, whatever the result in the final, the supports will be there for them to continue in business.”
Minister Breen added: “This year’s finalists represent the significant breadth and diversity of enterprises that characterise Ireland’s entrepreneurial landscape. It is important that we encourage these bright young minds and give them the full range
of supports that will allow their ideas and dreams into business realities. Making it to the final is already a great
achievement and one that should give them great confidence in driving their businesses forward.”
Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices, said; “IBYE is a key competitive programme
provided by Local Enterprise Offices. It offers young entrepreneurs at different stages of their development a
fantastic opportunity to avail of expert mentoring and pitch training as well as guidance and validation from
experienced businesspersons and analysts.
"It is the perfect start for these entrepreneurs and their journey has been supported all the way by their Local Enterprise Office. They have worked closely with them to fine tune their ideas and business plans, hone their pitching and to bring out the best in them. That is why they are finalists, they have the qualities to be here and be a huge success in Irish business and the Local Enterprise Offices will be there to support them all the way.”
Martin Corry, Enterprise Ireland, said “The Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur programme has not just created great entrepreneurs, it has helped create great businesses. These are businesses that are employing people across
the country, helping to support communities and also bolstering Ireland’s entrepreneurial reputation globally. Our
previous winners and finalists are at the very top of their game and have gone on to be hugely successful both
nationally and internationally. There’s no doubt that having made the Final this year and gone through the IBYE
process, our class of 2019 will hit the same heights as those that have gone before them and perhaps may even
The 24 IBYE Finalists for 2019 will be competing for a €100,000 fund across the three categories. The winner of the
Best Business Idea will receive a €15,000 investment with the runner up securing a €5,000 investment. The Best
Start-Up Business and Best-Established Business winners will receive a €25,000 investment each with the runners
up in those categories receiving a €5,000 investment, while the 2019 Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur selected
from the three category winners will receive an additional €20,000 investment.
The final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur takes place on Sunday 15 September at Google HQ in Dublin.